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Nets plan on getting Jarrett Allen reinforcements for NBA restart

The Nets only have a dozen healthy players they can count on as they prepare to head to Orlando, and just one legitimate big man after their frontcourt got decimated by injuries and coronavirus.

But it sounds like they are on the verge of adding some reinforcements, and they most likely will be in the paint.

“Overall, we have to have as many bodies as possible going into Orlando,” interim coach Jacque Vaughn said in a Saturday Zoom call. “We have eight games in 14 days, so the demand on our athletes, the more available bodies we have the better off we’ll be for sure.”

Center DeAndre Jordan tested positive for COVID-19 and ruled himself out of the restart, and power forward Wilson Chandler opted out over similar concerns. Both were starting when the season got shut down in March.

Add in Nic Claxton’s season-ending injury, and that leaves Jarrett Allen as the only healthy Net taller than 6-foot-9. Expect GM Sean Marks to sign a big man as a substitute player for Jordan.

Jarrett Allen
Jarrett AllenGetty Images

“We have to definitely think about that,” Vaughn said. “Sean and I talked this morning on a call and we talked about addressing our size and not putting extra demand on Jarrett. So that could definitely be a route we take for sure.

“It definitely will be a little bit of a stress test for us. Whether that’s the amount of minutes that we play Jarrett Allen at 5, whether it’s being creative at the backup position, it changes rotations.”

The Nets have 6-11 John Egbunu in the G-League. Dragan Bender, Deyonta Davis and Christ Koumadje also are options.

Brooklyn will play three scrimmages before restarting the NBA season July 31 vs. Orlando at Disney.

The Nets play Zion Williamson’s Pelicans on July 22 at 9 p.m., then face the Spurs on July 25 at 4:30 p.m. before ending with the Jazz on July 27 at 5:30 p.m.

“Really, the goal of those games is to give some guys some rhythm,” said Vaughn. “Our guys haven’t played 3-on-3, 5-on-5, none of the normal build-up you have going into a regular season. More than anything, the conditioning is going to be a piece of it.

“It’s nothing like pushing off a screen or standing a guy up that’s running down the floor or multiple efforts on a play and then getting your body used to making those movements over and over again. A lot of it’s going to be based around getting a little bit of rhythm and then the conditioning aspect of it also.”

Vaughn said the Nets who stayed in-market were ahead of the others conditioning-wise, citing Garrett Temple, Joe Harris, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dzanan Musa.

He praised newcomer Tyler Johnson’s competitiveness, but added the team will have to be judicious with his minutes.

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