The Brooklyn Nets announced Monday that sophomore forward Chris McCullough will be sent down to the Long Island Nets.
The announcement came from the Nets’ official Twitter account, and it was a move that was premeditated. Kenny Atkinson had stated before the season started that both McCullough and rookie Isaiah Whitehead would be spending time in the D-League.
The Brooklyn Nets have assigned Chris McCullough to their NBA D-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 7, 2016
Whitehead hasn’t been sent down because Brooklyn can’t afford it with all their injuries at point guard.
The Nets have an abundance of bigs on their roster, and McCullough was as far down on the totem pole as he could be. Through Brooklyn’s first six games, the former first-round pick had appeared in two contests and seen just 14 minutes.
While with the Long Island Nets, McCullough will be able to polish himself on both sides of the court. Currently, he’s raw–very raw. His game is predicated on athleticism, but there’s no substance outside of it. Defensively, that helps more than anything else, but he’s still putting pounds on and isn’t too disciplined a defender.
The D-League will let him get a better understanding of the actual X’s-and-O’s that go into defense; things like not over-rotating on drives and technique when defending guys in the post.
Offensively, the only things he can do are shoot and catch alley-oop passes. It’s not a bad thing to have a limited repertoire, but spending time away from the team will allow him to cultivate a mid-range game, and potentially some moves on the low block. After all, versatility is becoming more and more paramount in the new-school NBA.
This move is temporary and for the betterment of McCullough. He’s part of the Nets’ future, and it doesn’t do much for either party having him rack up DNP-CD’s for most of this season’s games.