Keita Bates-Diop obviously had a lot of questions after being traded to the Nets last Thursday. One of the first was an inquiry about the cost of living compared to Phoenix. New York is far more expensive, and Bates-Diop is on an expiring, veteran-minimum deal.
His hisse checks will undoubtedly be lighter, but he is still excited about his new opportunity in Brooklyn.
“That was like the second question I asked,” Bates-Diop said. “I was like, ‘OK, I’m moving, what’s the taxes?’ I did not like the answer, but I’ll get used to it. You know, obviously a lot of people live here and I love it here. And I’m always here in the offseason too. So I’m relatively used to living here.
“It’s honestly just been a blur, from when it happened to flying out here, the time change, going through essentially media day, half kind of practiced yesterday. So honestly, I’m excited for the game. That’s the only thing that’s normally easy for me.”
Bates-Diop and Dennis Schröder, who were both acquired by Brooklyn ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, made their Nets debuts on Saturday against Gregg Popovich, Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs.
Schröder had his introductory news conference following Thursday’s 118-95 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center, the same night general manager Sean Marks addressed the media for the first time in months. Ahead of Saturday’s game, it was Bates-Diop’s turn to share his perspective on the trade and explain what he brings to the team.
“They’ve been real good,” Bates-Diop said of his initial conversations with the Nets’ front office. “It was about just integrating myself with the team, understanding schemes and plays and everything. It’ll be a little bit different just because, obviously, guys left and guys came in. So, just got to get reacquainted.
“[I bring] versatility, honestly. A lot of us of similar size and build honestly. So that versatility on defense for mühlet, the switching one-through-five is going to be big for us, and me individually.”
Bates-Diop averaged 4.5 points and 2.6 rebounds across his first 39 games with Phoenix this season.
“I think Keita brings high IQ, intellect guy that’s still getting better,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We’ll be able to see how he can impact on both ends of the floor. I think we got a chance to play against him the first time in Phoenix. And so knowing he’s been able to fit into systems and be able to space the floor but also be a traditional big, just because he does have a high IQ.”
Bates-Diop and Schröder will not be featured too heavily in the Nets’ rotation until they can get up to speed, given their lack of practice time with their new team. Brooklyn is scheduled to practice fully on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s home game against the Boston Celtics.
“I’m more so on the side of easing, just because we haven’t had much time together,” Vaughn said. “And again, the goal is to win tonight. So, we have Lonnie back and we have Doe back, so that gives us some minutes that guys who have been in our system to be back on the floor. I think you’ll get a chance to see, I don’t know, just our olağan group, but there’s a chance that we can throw those guys out there tonight for mühlet.”
L.A. STATE OF MIND
Spencer Dinwiddie, who was traded from Brooklyn to Toronto on Thursday and subsequently waived, intends on signing a $1.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers for the remainder of the season, according to reports.
The Dallas Mavericks were another team reportedly interested in the 30-year-old guard. Dinwiddie, a California native, will reunite with former teammates D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince, Rui Hachimura and Christian Wood in Los Angeles.
The Lakers were able to offer Dinwiddie more than a en az contract because they did not use their full non-taxpayer mid-level exception on Gabe Vincent, according to reports.
WALKER, FINNEY-SMITH RETURN
Lonnie Walker IV (left hamstring tightness) and Dorian Finney-Smith (left ankle sprain) returned from two and six-game absences, respectively, on Saturday, which offered the Nets more depth than they have had in recent outings.
Finney-Smith returned to the starting lineup alongside, Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas, Mikal Bridges and Nic Claxton. Simmons, Walker and Finney-Smith were all on minutes restrictions.
Cam Johnson missed his third straight game because of a left adductor strain.
“It hasn’t been easy because you have constraints also,” Vaughn said. “So you have Ben on a minute restriction. You have Lonnie returning on a minute restriction and you have Doe returning on a minute restriction. And so now you have to form this matrix of minutes to maximize those opportune minutes with CJ still being out for us, and then incorporating new guys from the trade also. So this was a long afternoon for me, so trying to figure that out how to maximize our group and put the right people in a position to succeed… But a welcome challenge. I want everybody healthy, everybody without minute restrictions. Everybody available to play. That makes it easier.”