The Nets’ rebuilding was all the time going to be close to-unattainable as a result of they lack their very own draft picks, presumably franchise-altering lottery ones to get a transformational participant.
Within the Nets’ 133-114 preseason-ending loss to the Sixers on Wednesday, Joel Embiid reminded them simply how pivotal a younger participant of his caliber could be.
The oft-injured Embiid had 22 factors, seven rebounds, hit 14-of-18 from the free-throw line and dominated on each ends of the courtroom. And that was all in simply 14:forty five of his preseason debut — his first recreation since Jan. 27.
Transformational? Not even a query. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson stated the 23-yr-previous middle isn’t one of many NBA’s greatest younger gamers; he’s already one of many league’s prime skills of any age.
“For sure. He’s a prime participant on this league already. There’s no denying it,” Atkinson stated. “He’s going to be a handful for everyone on this league, and he’s distinctive as a result of he can go within the submit and exit and he’s quick. I feel the large actual praise is how he competes defensively. He blocks photographs, he’s actually a powerful younger participant.”
Too agile and athletic for Timofey Mozgov and too massive and powerful for another Internet, Embiid had 20 factors and 7 boards in simply eleven:28 within the first half, placing the Sixers on his again and placing the Nets in a seventy six-fifty one gap.
“He instructions loads of consideration and he’s tremendous gifted offensively. When wholesome he’s value each final penny of his new contract, and in addition acquired to the free-throw line rather a lot,” Nets guard Jeremy Lin stated of Embiid’s new 5-yr, $148 million deal.
“He’s received all of it. I don’t see any flaws in his recreation,” D’Angelo Russell stated. “Offensively he’s huge as Shaq [O’Neal]. He can shoot it like Dirk [Nowitzki]. He’s acquired the entire package deal. The league — so far as bigs — he’s going to make some noise this yr.”
Embiid was pleased to be again and contribute.
“It felt nice,” he stated. “I didn’t [think it’d come this quick], however going again to the final couple video games I missed earlier than that Houston recreation that’s the kind of participant I need to be.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 12 factors in thirteen:08 on 6-of-7 capturing, however left with a hand damage.
The Nets waived ahead Akil Mitchell and guards Milton Doyle and Jeremy Senglin. Doyle and Senglin performed summer time league and had signed as free brokers Aug. four. Mitchell inked a free agent Sept. 24.
The roster now stands at 17 gamers. The Nets have the highest spot in…