After being decimated by injuries and coronavirus — losing eight players in total — the Nets have been in desperate need of reinforcements. They got two Wednesday, with a third on the horizon.
Newly signed guards Tyler Johnson and Jamal Crawford both cleared quarantine in Orlando and officially entered the so-called Bubble, practicing with Brooklyn for the first time. Rookie center Donta Hall is progressing in quarantine and shouldn’t be far behind.
“It’s great to have more bodies on the floor,” interim coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I think that was the biggest positive of the day, being able to have two teams of five, and be able to reiterate some things that we want to work on defensively, offensively, gave us a review session a little bit and gave those guys a chance to be integrated. So two welcome faces.”
Vaughn kept the practice fairly simple, so as not to overload the newcomers, and took pains not to put too much on their legs since Johnson got waived on Feb. 9 and Crawford hasn’t played at all this season.
“Tyler’s ability to compete, he wanted to be in every drill, and trusted that I might have to pull him out of some of them,” Vaughn said.
Hall is a 6-foot-9 rookie center that was named All-G-League but has just 48 NBA minutes in four short cameos. The Nets signed him as a replacement player and hope to have him soon as well.
With DeAndre Jordan, Nic Claxton and Michael Beasley all injured or sidelined with COVID-19, Hall and Lance Thomas — signed Tuesday — represent the only big men other than Jarrett Allen.
“Hopefully soon. [Hall] is in quarantine protocol, and we’ll just have to wait until things are cleared up that way,” Vaughn said. “Hopefully soon, though.
Vaughn wouldn’t clarify the status of Beasley, who left the Bubble after reportedly testing positive for coronavirus, or Long Island Nets forward Justin Anderson, who is currently quarantining in Orlando and could replace Beasley.
“Yeah, both of those I cannot comment on,” Vaughn said. “I have no definitive answer, so I’m just going to leave that one alone until I have a definitive answer.”
Nets team owner Joe Tsai recently did a fireside chat with season-ticket holders via Zoom. He followed up by sending those same fans bottles of wine — Cabernet Sauvignon from Frank Family Vineyards.
Former Net Mason Plumlee suddenly finds himself in some pretty good company, as part of the Alex Rodriguez-Jennifer Lopez bid to buy the Mets.
Plumlee is joining a who’s-who list that includes Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal, Super Bowl champ Travis Kelce, NFL Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, ex-Browns lineman Joe Thomas and former running back DeMarco Murray. Oh, and A-Rod and J-Lo, too.
The 30-year-old Plumlee, now with the Nuggets, was drafted by the Nets in 2013 and spent his first two NBA seasons in Brooklyn.
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