NBA free agency has quieted down a bit as the basketball world waits to see how the saga between the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving plays out. In the meantime, the NBA Summer League began in Las Vegas with the Nets team slated to play their first game on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Brooklyn will have several returning players that donned Nets uniforms during the course of the NBA season last year and a few new faces that fans will want to keep an eye on. Among the familiar names are Cam Thomas, recently re-signed Kessler Edwards and Day’Ron Sharpe.
Depending on how the offseason plays out, a number of those players could see their roles increase in Brooklyn next season.
The 20-year-old guard certainly made his mark with the Nets in his 67 NBA appearances for them last season. Thomas averaged 8.5 points per game and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 43.3% from the field. His most memorable moments came when he hit a game-winning shot against the San Antonio Spurs and capped off a historic comeback against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
He also dominated the summer league last season averaging 27 points a game and taking home co-MVP honors. Thomas has the skills to be an exciting player for the Nets going forward and was taken under the wing of Durant a bit during the course of the NBA season.
The next 10 days will be a chance to see how much his game has developed over the course of the year and offseason.
David Duke Jr.
Another beneficiary of the Nets’ COVID outbreak last season was Duke, who saw playing time because of it. Duke was an undrafted player out of Providence who the Nets signed to a two-way contract. Duke appeared in 22 games with the Nets and averaged 15.5 minutes a game in black and white. Additionally, he averaged 4.7 points a game.
The 22-year-old played a majority of his time for the Nets from December through February and showed some promise. The NBA experience is sure to have helped him elevate his game and he will be look to make an impression on the Nets staff.
Williams signed with the Nets on a two-way contract earlier in the week and went undrafted this year. Williams was projected as a possible second-round pick, but in the end, the ACC Player of the Year wound up with the Nets organization after all was said and done. He has had quite the journey to his breakout season at Wake Forest last year, when he put up 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. His production helped lead his team to a 25-10 season.
Las Vegas will be the first test to see what he can bring to the pro level after such a successful collegiate season in his fifth year.