Brooklyn Nets add Landry Shamet, decline Garrett Temple’s team option

The Brooklyn Nets made a couple of moves that saved them roughly $9 million in luxury tax while injecting more shooting to surround Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

The Nets have landed Landry Shamet in a three-way Draft Day trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Detroit Pistons. The Nets then waived veteran Garrett Temple on Thursday, first reported by Ian Begley of SNY.

Luke Kennard will go to the Clippers, while the Nets’ 19th pick (Villanova’s Saddiq Bey) will begin his NBA career as a Piston.

The 23-year old Shamet will add shooting to the Nets, the sixth-worst in three-point accuracy last season. Shamet is a 40.2 percent career three-point shooter and is much younger than Temple.

The Nets were able to lower down their luxury tax bill by not picking up the $5 million team option of Temple, who is expected to sign with another contender.

Shamet appeared to be excited with the trade as he posted a video of him enjoying steak and wine with Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind playing in the background shortly after the deal was announced on Wednesday night.

Shamet will also serve as insurance if Joe Harris leaves. But multiple reports have indicated that the sharpshooting Harris will return to the Nets.

The Nets general manager Sean Marks has indicated that Harris is a priority. The Nets hope to re-sign him when the free agency begins Friday.

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Brooklyn Nets confident they can hang with Toronto Raptors

Brooklyn Nets, Caris Levert

The Brooklyn Nets, 34-36, recently clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re currently slated to face off with the defending NBA-champion Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite going 1-3 against their divisional rival this season, the Nets feel they have a chance to knock out the Raptors.

Caris LeVert says if the Nets “move the ball well” and “play good defense” they can win the series (quotes per Brian Lewis of the New York Post).

“We know they’re a really good team. Obviously they’re playing good basketball, they move the ball really well, they’re a great defensive team, as well,” Caris LeVert said. “But for us, we feel like it’s about us. If we move the ball well, if we play good defense, if we’re locked into the game plan, we can win that series. We truly believe that. So we’re gonna go into that playoff matchup all the way locked in.”

The Nets are without Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, Wilson Chandler, Nic Claxton, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the NBA bubble. Despite the aforementioned absences, the Nets have pulled off a handful of impressive victories which include beating the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.

One of the new faces for the Nets is guard Tyler Johnson. Johnson says that if the Nets play their “style of basketball” they can beat anybody.

“As far as going into Toronto, you know what to expect. Then again, there’s no homecourt advantage. You’re playing a basketball team in the same spot for however many games it takes to advance,” Johnson said. “For us, it’s continue to play our style of basketball. At this point, we understand that, if we do that, we’re capable of beating anybody, and we showed it.”

Garrett Temple says if the Nets, who are 4-2 in the bubble, continue to “share the ball” and “get stops” they can win some games.

“To clinch seventh was big for us, obviously. We wanted to play whoever was going to be in that second spot, obviously it’s Toronto. We feel confident,” Garrett Temple said. “We’re confident. If we play the right way, if we play like we’ve been playing the last 2 or 3 games, share the ball, get stops, even though they turn people over, if we’re able to take care of it and do what we’ve been doing, we have a chance to win some games.”

Jacque Vaughn is 6-2 since taking over as interim head coach in March.

Will the Brooklyn Nets rotate at the point guard position?

Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have had various players at point guard over the years. It’s a position that generally has good depth in Brooklyn. I mean it makes sense. It’s arguably the most critical position on the court.

The point guard is the first line of defense. He directs the offense and sets the tempo of the game. He’s supposed to be an extension of the coach since the coach can’t be on the court directing things at all times.

This year is a little different for the Brooklyn Nets. There are only two players on the roster that naturally play the position — newly acquired member of the Nets Kyrie Irving and the man who recruited him, Spencer Dinwiddie. You could push the number to three with the addition of Jaylen Hands, but the rookie out of UCLA will probably spend his rookie year developing in Long Island.

So that leaves the question, what happens when one of the two main guys are in foul trouble? Or if both get into foul trouble? What happens during a load management day? Kyrie hasn’t exactly been the most healthy pg in the league, what happens if he has to miss games for an extended period?

These questions gave room for people to speculate specific point guards as viable options earlier on in the offseason. But with the Nets having 15 guaranteed contracts and the roster is more or less set in stone at this point, it’s clear Sean Marks believes the answer to these questions and the depth at point guard are on the roster.

The first person that comes to mind is Caris Levert. The young player has a diverse skill set. He can handle the rock and create for himself. His ability to break down a defender and penetrate, allow him to find the open man when the defense collapses. Levert has played some point guard during his tenure with the Nets, and the organization has liked what they’ve seen. Don’t be shocked to see Levert play someone for short stints this season.

The veteran Garrett Temple is another option at the point guard. Although seldom, he too has experienced at the point throughout his NBA career. Temple, like Caris, would give the Nets a more significant body to throw at opposing PGs, causing lots of matchup problems. And as a veteran, you don’t have to worry about him being overwhelmed with the responsibility of running a team or having someone take him out of his game. He’s seen a lot over the years so he can be a steady hand if need be.

Dzanan Musa is another option that Kenny Atkinson will probably look at to be a primary ball-handler and run the offense. Musa is a player the Brooklyn brass is very high on. They believe the young European player is oozing with potential and that he can be a very versatile piece to the roster. Through his young career in the NBA and before it, he hasn’t shown a knack for creating for others, but he does have a decent handle. He’d be an extremely tall PG for us, listed at 6’9″. During the Summer League, we saw him run the offense a little bit, and as he continues to learn the game, he should get better on that end. He’s probably the least likely option, but I expect to see him tested here during practices or possibly during garbage time.

Finally, the heart and soul of our bench mob, Theo Pinson might have his hand tried at being the floor general. Management might’ve spoken to him about him playing some point because Pinson seems to have his mind wrapped around the idea already. He opened up to Brian Lewis about it saying that he wants to, of course, do his job, but do it while taking care of the ball. He even mentioned playing the point guard position reporting:

I have the ball in my hands [as] the third point guard, knock down open shots — I think that’s the biggest thing for me. We’ve got a lot of guys who can create on our team, so being able to knock down shots and be respectable will just open up the floor for them.

So the Nets may not have that traditional third point guard to go to this season, but they have multiple viable options to hold down the fort if the need arises.