The Nets didn’t just have cursory interest in Andre Roberson before they settled on Iman Shumpert, they actually worked out the defensive-minded wing, a source told The Post.
Roberson’s return to the court with the Thunder in the bubble last season showed he was ready to play, and his workout for the Nets further underscored his health. Now that Shumpert has suffered a hamstring injury before even playing a second, one has to wonder whether general manager Sean Marks would circle back to Roberson. A source close to the situation said Roberson would be available and a viable option.
The 6-foot-7, 210-pound Roberson seems not only a fit in a position of need but has familial links with the team. He was not only teammates with Kevin Durant (and Nets assistant Royal Ivey) in Oklahoma City, as well as Spencer Dinwiddie in college, but his sister Arielle actually has a son Elijah with Dinwiddie.
“Yeah, I think him being healthy, he’s gonna be a phenomenal addition to a contender,” Dinwiddie told The Post. “And obviously him being extended family will be dope to share that journey, and those high-level aspirations with him.”
Roberson was all-defensive second team in 2016-17, and was a defensive player of the year candidate the following season before rupturing his left patellar tendon on Jan. 27, 2018. After a lengthy rehab, he finally got back on the court for the Thunder during the Orlando restart, averaging 2.9 points and 3.9 boards in 12.4 minutes over seven games.
Much has been made about the Nets’ defense cratering since they dealt away rim-protecting center Jarrett Allen. But Dinwiddie suffering a partially torn ACL, and the Nets trading away both Taurean Prince and Caris LeVert has left gaping holes in their perimeter defense against small forwards and bigger shooting guards.
With decisions due on their non- or partially guaranteed contracts by Feb. 24 — Shumpert, as well as Chris Chiozza, Norvel Pelle and Noah Vonleh — at least some roster movement seems feasible. If so, Roberson could be a fit.
Kevin Durant missed the Kings game, and will also miss the tail end of the back-to-back Tuesday at Phoenix.
The Nets have been linked with Cleveland center Andre Drummond if he gets bought out. But the Cavaliers have not only benched the veteran completely, but are in “active” negotiations with the Raptors on a trade according to The Athletic.