The start of the Long Island Nets season is nearly a week away, and Nets guard Jordan McLaughlin is already ahead of the game as he approaches the start of his rookie season in the G League. He’s spent time learning sets as both a member of the Nets’ summer league team and Brooklyn’s training camp roster.
“He’s gone from walking into summer league as a stone cold rookie, and if you watch practice [now], there is no doubt that he can run a team,” Long Island Nets Head Coach Will Weaver said. “More than that, he’s even finding a different kind of persona where he has some versatility that he never really had a chance to tap into collegiately, where he didn’t have to play off the ball.”
He impressed during his time with the Nets’ Summer League team, showing an ability to play a fast-paced style of basketball and find open teammates. The guard averaged a team-high 4.2 assists, while also demonstrating his range on several occasions.
“It helped me a lot,” McLaughlin said. “I was already starting to learn the sets and some of the plays that they wanna run. I was able to help the newer guys coming in, being able to lead them to the right spots. It gave me a jump start basically.”
McLaughlin was a four-year starter at USC where he averaged 12.9 points and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 38% from beyond the arc.
The rookie joined Rodions Kurucs and Theo Pinson as the three players this year to be a member of both the Nets’ Summer League team and training camp roster. Kurucs, however, is not listed on Long Island’s roster and will begin his season with Brooklyn. Each player is has become comfortable with the team’s offensive and defensive sets that many recently signed players are just being exposed to.
Pinson, another high profile undrafted rookie, is also a gifted passer, despite being 6’6. He is expected to spend time running the offense in addition to McLaughlin and guard Shannon Scott who led the team in assists last season. Pinson signed a two-way contract with the Nets and is currently on the NBA roster, but he will likely spend a good portion of the season with Long Island.
“I played with him in the summer league and training camp,” McLaughlin said. “We have a good feel for each other. We alternate bringing the ball up at all times. I’m excited to play with him when he gets here and it’s going to be fun. His game is very complimentary to mine. We both kind of do similar things.”
Long Island kicks off the season against the Westchester Knicks on Saturday, November 3rd.