Jarrett Allen’s strong Summer League latest step in Nets center’s development

Some wondered why Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen decided to play in the 2019 NBA Summer League  before his third pro season. His impressive play answered many of his critics.

Allen was named to the 2019 NBA Summer League first team, averaging 16.4 points, 2.2 blocks and finishing fourth in rebounding with 10.6 per game while shooting a sizzling 61% in five games.

“From start to finish, it’s incredible,” Nets Summer League assistant coach Adam Harrington said of Allen’s performance this month. “There were many reasons we wanted him to play, wanted him to develop, put the ball in his hands more, make more decisions, play-make out there. One was to lead off the court, be more vocal, and we saw all of it encompassed in two weeks. Just hugged him, told him how proud we are.”

For the 2017 first-round pick, the decision to play was all about getting better.

“We’ve always been [focused on] player development, and that’s number one in our culture, and he got better in these last two weeks,” Harrington said.

With the free agent signing of former All-Star center DeAndre Jordan — whose addition received less attention compared to the acquisitions of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — Allen will have competition for minutes, something that he welcomes.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Allen said of competing against Jordan. “I’m looking forward to also learning from him. I think that happened with Timofey Mozgov when I first came, and [then] Ed Davis, and now DeAndre Jordan, so just learning from him really.”

Allen, who turned 21 during Brooklyn’s first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers in April, is thought to have untapped potential. Playing in this year’s NBA Summer League shows that he has the desire to get better and should continue to do so.

“I feel like I had a pretty good season last year,” said Allen, the big man with the signature Afro, who averaged 10.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 80 starts for the 42-40 Nets during the regular season. “I have a lot to show them. I have a lot of knowledge in my mind that I can share with them.”