After officially signing with the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday afternoon, Michael Beasley has made his way to Orlando, Florida, where he began the league-mandated quarantine.
During a conference call with reporters, Nets general manager Sean Marks said that Beasley arrived at the team’s hotel, passed a physical examination and must test negative for the coronavirus for six consecutive days before he is cleared to join the team at practice.
The Nets had three vacant substitute roster spots after Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince tested positive for the coronavirus. Marks said that Tyler Johnson did not travel with the team for personal reasons but will be joining the group in Orlando.
“We need to get these guys in front of our coaching staff and in front of each other,” Marks said. “Somebody joked today [that] we were going to have to have them wearing name tags because it is a new roster.”
Marks said that while evaluating whom to sign for the Nets’ Orlando squad, he takes into consideration how they would fit with the other players, what positional holes the team has, how quickly they can be available and how long each player has to quarantine.
Brooklyn will look to balance the continuing development of young players like Jarrett Allen, and getting the veterans the team has signed playing time.
“I think we’re having a really good debate about that,” Marks said. “Those guys continue their development curve. We’re obviously here to compete. As it stands now we’re in the playoffs, and the objective is to compete as well as we can while we’re down here.”
If he is cleared to participate, Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, would have to serve a five-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy last April. He would be eligible to play in Brooklyn’s sixth seeding game.
The 31-year-old last played in the NBA during the 2018-19 season with the Lakers, averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 26 games. He was traded to the Clippers at the trade deadline and was immediately waived.
Nets interim coach Jacque Vaughn said Beasley brings the Nets “the ability to score the basketball.”
“At the end of the day, we wanted this group to know that we’re here to win basketball games, and to maximize this team,” Vaughn said. “So Michael gives us a chance to put the ball in his hands and he can score from multiple positions, he can play multiple positions for us. So organizationally, we would look at the best talent out there and he presented himself and we’ll definitely take advantage of his talents.”
Beasley has played for seven teams in the NBA, including three stints with the Miami Heat. He also played for two teams in China.
Marks said that the substitute players Brooklyn is bringing in will have a shot at earning a roster spot for the 2020-21 season.
“I think we’re always going to be evaluating players,” Marks said. “[On] how they will fit with not only with the group that we have now, but the group that’s expected to be part of this team next year and the year after that.”
Vaughn also highlighted the veteran presence that Crawford will add to the Nets.
“I think what Jamal brings to this team is the ability to make shots,” he said. “You also get veteran leadership, you get a guy that hopefully as we continue to advance while we’re here, has played in high level games, really comfortable being on the floor, and can talk to multiple guys on our bench — and how to be calm and enjoy and how to preserve the opportunity that’s presented in front of them.”
Information from ESPN’s Bobby Marks was used in this report.