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Breaking Down The Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 NBA Summer League Roster

Contributor Tim Oakes breaks down the Brooklyn Nets’ Summer League roster

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round draft pick, Dzanan Musa, may not participating in the NBA Summer League this summer due to a long season overseas, but plenty of other notable names are included on the roster. “Veteran” summer league players like Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen will lead the charge for the Nets alongside other fresh faces like rookie second-round draft pick Rodions Kurucs and North Carolina alumnus Theo Pinson.

PG, Semaj Christon, Age 25 -

The Xavier alumnus is the oldest member of the Nets’ summer league roster at 25. He was drafted in the second round by the Miami Heat in the 2014, but never played a game for them. He did latch onto the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2016-17 season. He served as the team’s backup point guard during Russell Westbrook’s MVP season, which is one reason you may have never heard of him. The other reason is that he unable to show any form of consistent production. He averaged 2.9 points, 2.0 assists and 15.2 minutes per game last season while shooting just 34 percent from the field and 19 percent from beyond the arc.

Nonetheless, he is the most experienced point guard on the team’s summer league roster and is likely to get a large chunk of the minutes at the point unless fellow point guards Bryant Crawford and Jordan McLaughlin come along quicker than expected. After not earning a roster spot with OKC prior to the 2017-18 season, Christon signed with the Guangzhou Long-Lions. He averaged 27.7 points and 5.7 assists per game while shooting 47 percent from the field.

SG, Milton Doyle, Age 24 -

Amidst the limelight that returning returning players and rookies are bringing to the roster, Milton Doyle deserves to have eyes on him as well. Doyle spent brief time on the Brooklyn Nets’ roster last season, but was only made possible due to the undrafted guard’s performance in his first year with the Long Island Nets in the NBA G-League. At 20.5 points per game, Doyle joined Isaiah Whitehead as the only player on the team who averaged over 20 points per game last season.

Doyle has also demonstrated he can fill up the stat sheet. He averaged 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a shooting guard. He is fitting into the mold of current Net regime that is positionless basketball. The question is if the Nets will have a need for another guard on the roster with Levert, Allen Crabbe, D’Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin, Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris all returning. Not to mention the addition of rookies Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs. He’ll do his best to stand out alongside some of the best young players in the organization these next few weeks, but if he doesn’t make the Nets or return to the Long Island Nets roster, he may explore other options. The Timberwolves and other teams have shown interest in Doyle, who is restricted free agent, per Darren Wolfson of KSTP-TV.

SG, Caris LeVert, Age 23 -

The third year guard was said to have taken a leadership role among the younger players at last year’s summer league and will continue to do so this summer. LeVert saw an increase in usage for Brooklyn last season, jumping from 21 minutes per game during his rookie campaign to 26 minutes last season.

He posted 12.1 points, 4.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game for the team last year, making him one of the most experienced players in this years summer league. He will have his moments when he takes over, but look for him to put his passing ability on display as his natural ability to make players around him better should be on full display while he builds chemistry with the young pups.

F, Rodions Kurucs, Age 20 -

The former first round draft prospect in recent years finally reached the NBA after a few years of dealing with a plethora of injuries. If he can prove to be healthy again, the Nets may have found themselves a great value in the second round of this year’s NBA Draft. Because his fellow European Nets draft pick, Dzanan Musa, will not be playing this summer, expect the Latvian to receive a lot of attention for the Nets.

His long frame makes him a versatile wingman who can play multiple positions. He will likely see most of his time as a forward, particularly at the power forward position where the Nets and this roster lack depth. His shooting ability will likely earn him a spot as a regular off the Nets bench this season. However, his lack of experience against elite level competition in Europe due to injuries makes him somewhat of a mystery. The summer league should help paint a better picture of what he brings to the table post recovery from injury.

C, Jarrett Allen, Age 20 -

Another major storyline this summer will be if Jarrett Allen, who displayed a great ability to protect the rim this past season, can show more aggression on the offensive end of the ball. He consistently provided quality minutes on the floor in the first half of last season, before ultimately supplanting Timofey Mozgov and Tyler Zeller as the team’s starting center.

Allen should have all the chances in the world to prove he can take ownership of the paint on the offensive end this summer. He averaged 9.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game after the All-Star break. The Nets are being built in the model of a new-age western conference team that shoots the ball, so Allen may very well end up being in the mold of a Steven Adams or Clint Capela, but getting more opportunities to score couldn’t hurt.

PG, Jordan McLaughlin, Age 22 -

McLaughlin in a 6’2” four-year point guard out of Southern California who averaged 12 or 13 points per game in every season with the Trojans, and also averaged 7.8 assists per game in his senior season. At nearly 38 percent shooting from beyond the arc throughout his four years in college, he is a consistent deep threat. What may set him apart is his ability to defend opposing guards. McLaughlin averaged 1.5 or more steals per game in each of his four seasons with USC. He will battle veteran Semaj Christon for minutes at point this summer. Think of him as a TJ McConnell-type player who could have bright immediate future in the G-League.

G/F, Theo Pinson, Age 22 -

Pinson was the first player the Nets signed post-draft and is very much a potential G-Leaguer. The North Carolina Alumnus was a gifted passer on the wing for the Tar Heels, particularly in his senior season when he averaged 5.1 assists. He, like many other players on this roster, fit the multi-positional skillset the Nets are looking for. He’s never been much of a shooter but has shown an ability to get to the rim.

G/F, Ding Yanyuhang, Age 24 -

Yanyuhang enters this year’s summer league with more experience than most as he looks to earn a two-way contract from the Nets. He was named the Chinese Basketball Association Domestic Most Valuable player the past two seasons. He was in a prolific scorer in China last season, averaging 26 points while also racking up 5.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Yanyuhang played for the Dallas Mavericks summer league team last year, but did not earn enough playing time to convince the organization to ink him to a two-way contract. He decided to return to China rather than join the G-League last year.

F, Kamari Murphy, Age 24 -

Murphy joins the Nets’ summer league roster after last year’s stint with the Long Island Nets. The Miami (FL) alumnus averaged 10.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game with Long Island last season. However, Murphy was not a standout at Miami as he never posted more than 7.1 points per game with the Hurricanes. He will likely serve as Rodions Kurucs biggest competition for minutes this summer. It seems likely that he will return to play for Long Island this upcoming season.

C, Trevor Thompson, Age 24 -

The seven-footer already has one year in the G-League under his belt after playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors last season. However, he never really got the playing time to prove his worth playing behind Damion Jones. Thompson started just two of the 38 games he played in last season, posting 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in a limited role. The Ohio State Alumnus did average 10.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in his final season with the Buckeyes during the 2016-17 season. He is a likely candidate to join the Long Island Nets or another G-League team this fall.

G/F, Yuta Watanabe, Age 23 -

The George Washington alumnus and member of the Japanese National Team adds to the Nets summer league roster diverse makeup. He had a big year for the Colonials in his senior season last year, leading the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game. He also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. His long wingspan allows him to be a pesky defender who can block more shots than most at his position. He seems primed to take up a spot on the Long Island Nets’ roster.

G/F, Juan Pablo Vaulet, Age 22 -

The Charlotte Hornets’ 2015 second-round draft pick is finally making his way overseas to play within the Nets organization after Charlotte traded his rights to Brooklyn a while back. The Argentinean has underachieved during his time on the international stage, with poor shooting percentages from the line and beyond the arc. He will look to flip the switch this summer and find a spot on the Nets roster.

G/F, Shawn Dawson, Age 24 -

The Israeli-born wingman already has vast experience playing overseas for teams like Maccabi Rishon LeZion and the Bnei Herzliya. He also played for the Washington Wizards’ summer league team back in 2016, but did not raise many eyebrows. He earned the Israeli League Round 31 Most Valuable Player honors after a 20-point showing against the well-respected Maccabi Haifa team the past May. He looks ready to make the jump overseas and could potentially find himself playing for the Long Island Nets or another team in the G-League.

F, James Webb III, Age 24 -

Webb joins Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen as the only players on the roster who played for the Brooklyn Nets last season. He was a two-way player last season and seems to be one of the Nets’ long-term projects that they hope to mold into a rotation player. In his 10 games with the team last season he averaged 1.6 points and 2.4 rebounds on 25 percent shooting from the field. He split time with the Long Island Nets and the Delaware 87ers in the G-League last season. He averaged 12.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc. The potential is there, but he will likely need more time with Long Island before he becomes a fixture in Brooklyn’s rotation.

F/C, Tyler Davis, Age 21 -

Davis was the starting center at Texas A&M for the past three seasons. He led the Aggies in scoring last year which helped them earn a 22-13 overall record. He played alongside Robert Williams, who was recently drafted by the Boston Celtics, but still averaged more than four points than him. He averaged 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game last year. He’ll battle Jarrett Allen and Trevor Thompson for minutes this summer in hopes of earning a spot in the G-League.