Brooklyn Nets are still growing with new young teammates

Dzanan Musa, Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Dzanan Musa, Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets made noise in the offseason with their veteran signings, but it’s their young core that needs attention

Kyrie Irving is the latest Brooklyn Nets star to suffer from the injury bug joining teammate Caris LeVert. The young core consisting of rookie Nic Claxton and second-year player Dzanan Musa has taken advantage of their new opportunities to start the season.

The recent injury wave hitting the team has provided these moments for the young players. Claxton was the 31st overall pick in this year’s draft and wasn’t expected to see much action due to the depth on Brooklyn’s front line. The 20-year-old has gotten the playing time from head coach Kenny Atkinson lately and is using it as valuable experience.

"“Not extremely comfortable [right now], just to be honest,” Claxton told The NY Post after the team’s blowout loss on Monday. “Just trying to find a role for myself. I just gotta stay ready and whenever the opportunity presents itself for me.”"

Claxton was an essential part of the University of Georgia playing two seasons and averaging 13.3 points, 8.6 rebounds per game.

The road to playing time had been very different for Musa in his second year with the Nets organization. Musa spent last season primarily in the G-League for the Long Island Nets, helping their successful run to the finals. He is beginning to see the floor for the main club in Brooklyn and has plenty of confidence with the extra playing time.

"“I’m not afraid of the moment. I’m built for this. I’m only afraid of God, so it’s my time. … I take advantage of my opportunity every time I step on the court,” said Musa in an interview with the NY Post, who has spent extra time before practice working with player development coach Tiago Splitter and recognizes the need to prove to the coaches what he can provide."

Musa averaged 19.6 points per game starting for the Nets G-League team, helping to raise his overall profile.

"“To do the right things, coming into practice before time, getting shots up, be focused all the time. … Of course I know what I can do, but they don’t know yet, and from the day-to-day, I’m trying to gain their trust.”"

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The Nets are still finding their way as we approach Thanksgiving, and teams around the league begin to identify needs. Brooklyn will continue to evaluate the veterans and young players in hopes of finding the appropriate chemistry.