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Report: Nets to release Greivis Vasquez who needs ankle surgery, sign Yogi Ferrell

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Last season, Greivis Vasquez missed 58 games with an ankle injury for Milwaukee, and when he did play his shooting (24.7 percent from three) and efficiency (PER of 7.4) were career lows. The Bucks let him walk, and Nets snapped him up on a very affordable $4.3 million contract hoping he could be a solid backup to Jeremy Lin.

Except that Lin is out with a groin injury (likely for another week at least, maybe a few) and Vasquez can’t play. His ankle never got right, he has played just 39 minutes all season, and Vasquez needs another ankle surgery.

Which has prompted Brooklyn to release him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports, and reach into their waived guys from training camp to find a replacement.

After releasing veteran guard Greivis Vasquez, who needs ankle surgery, the Brooklyn Nets are signing undrafted rookie Yogi Ferrell, league sources told The Vertical. Vasquez signed a free-agent deal with Brooklyn in July, but a recurring injury to his right ankle will necessitate surgery and he’s expected to miss extended time in rehabilitation….

Ferrell signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Nets after going undrafted out of the University of Indiana. He was one of Brooklyn’s final training-camp cuts and had been preparing to play for the Nets’ new NBA Development League affiliate in New York.

Ferrell likely will get minutes from the start, and that start is against Derrick Rose and the cross-town rival Nets on Wednesday. Welcome to the NBA Ferrell, go slow down a former MVP.

NBA sets record with 113 international players, a plurality from Canada, on opening-night rosters

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Until last season, the NBA set or tied its record for number of international players on opening-night rosters the previous three years.

But after peaking at 101 in 2014-15, the number dropped to 100 last season.

A sign the league has hit its foreign saturation point?

Probably not.

The NBA boasts a record 113 international players from a record 41 countries and territories to begin this season. Canada, with 11, leads the league for the third straight year.

A count of international players in the NBA on opening night:

  • 2016-17: 113
  • 2015-16: 100
  • 2014-15: 101
  • 2013-14: 92
  • 2012-13: 84

Here’s a full list of 2016-17 international players, but before you read it, take our quizzes on opening-night rosters.

Greivis Vasquez wants to prove to Brooklyn he can still contribute

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The Milwaukee Bucks traded two picks to Toronto (one of which has already become Norman Powell, who has shown promise) so they could get Greivis Vasquez. That didn’t exactly work out for Milwaukee. Vasquez missed 58 games with an ankle injury and when he was in his shooting numbers (24.7 percent from three) and PER (7.4) were career lows. When Vasquez became a free agent, the Bucks politely waved as he walked out the door.

Vasquez signed a one-year deal with the Nets, and he doesn’t want to go there as just a mentor for the young team, he told Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

“I’m not done yet. I’m a vet that can produce,” Vasquez said Saturday after practice. “Don’t sleep on me. I work too hard to just be a regular guy that talks in the locker room. I bring leadership, but I’m also going to bring [production], and it’s going to be on the court by playing hard, fouling somebody, hitting a big shot like I did when I was in Toronto….

“I got so much in the tank,” he said. “I feel like I can play in this league three, four more years. I just have to stay healthy.”

Three years? We’ll see. That said, Vasquez should get the chance to prove he has that much left — as the primary backup to Jeremy Lin he should get plenty of run.

Vasquez is not yet 100 percent healthy (and has been limited in preseason), but he is back on the court and making progress. He is a big point guard (6’6″) who is a good shooter traditionally (career 34.9 percent from three) and with that threat can set up others with his passes. He’s also dangerous as a floor-spacing shooter working off the ball. He’s not a great defender, but going up against reserves he should be fine (especially because he can be cross-matched onto less-threatening two guards when appropriate).

At the price they get him (one-year, $5 million), this was a good roll of the dice by the Nets, one that could show some value.

Report: Nets signing Jorge Gutierrez

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The Nets have a clear 1-2 at point guard with Jeremy Lin and Greivis Vasquez.

Beyond that, it gets murky.

Randy Foye and Isaiah Whitehead are combo guards. Yogi Ferrell‘s deal is just partially guaranteed.

Another candidate to be third point guard? Former Nets third point guard Jorge Gutierrez.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Brooklyn has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit, with guaranteed salaries. But the Nets are so far under the salary floor, they probably wouldn’t hesitate to eat a guaranteed contract if Gutierrez wins the job.

Gutierrez broke into the NBA with the Nets in 2014, when they were run by deposed general manager Billy King and coach Jason Kidd. It seems more coincidental than institutional Gutierrez is returning to Brooklyn under the Sean Marks/Kenny Atkins regime.

In stints with Kidd’s Bucks and the Hornets, Gutierrez has continued to look like a fringe NBA player. He’s a decent defender, but his lack of outside shooting holds him back.

51Q: Can Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson get blood from a stone in Brooklyn?

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We continue PBT’s 2016-17 NBA preview series, 51 Questions. Between now and the start of the NBA season we will tackle 51 questions we cannot wait to see answered during the upcoming NBA season. We will delve into one almost every day between now and the start of the season (we’re taking some weekends off). Today:

Can Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson get blood from a stone in Brooklyn?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

For Sean Marks, the new GM of the Brooklyn Nets, the first steps last February was to buy out Andrea Bargnani and waive Joe Johnson, then sign D-League guard Sean Kilpatrick in a quest for undervalued talent.

No team in all the NBA is in a worse rebuilding situation than the Brooklyn Nets. In their owner-pushed quest to open a new building with a splash a few years back, the Nets traded young players and control of their draft picks for expensive players on the back ends of their careers (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Johnson). When that fell apart as everyone could see it would, the Nets were left without the tools for a quick rebuild. They don’t control their own first-round pick until 2019.

This is a long, slow journey of 1,000 miles.

The question today is: Can Marks and his new coach Kenny Atkinson squeeze more wins out of this team while making that journey? The Nets won just 21 games last season.

They should win a few more this season — 25? 28? — and they should be more competitive. Certainly, they will be more entertaining. However, real change is going to take time. And patience — we’re looking at you, Mikhail Prokhorov.

The Nets have one good young player who should be part of the future core: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. He needs to become more confident with his jumper, but he is a long, athletic wing who can get to the rim on one end and defend on the other. He should thrive in a more uptempo Atkinson system. If he can stay healthy this season and take a step forward (as expected of second-year players), the Nets get a little better.

Then the Nets have some solid veterans around him. Brook Lopez is still one of the better offensive centers in the NBA, and while the trade waters were tested (and will be again), Lopez remains a Net.

Marks added veteran point guard Jeremy Lin to the mix — Atkinson was an assistant coach to Mike D’Antoni in New York during the Linsanity era, and he knows how to get the most out of him. The Nets brought other vets on the roster such as Luis Scola, Greivis Vasquez, and Randy Foye. Trevor Booker is still on the roster. There is rookie Caris LeVert to develop.

All of this should make the Nets considerably more entertaining (they were the hardest team in the NBA to watch last season) a little better. They should win a few more games. The issues keeping them from making any real leap begin with this was the second worst defensive team in the NBA last season and adding guys like Lin, Vasquez, and Scola to the roster is not going to improve that end. Add to that the fact this team has no true alpha players, plus a lack of depth, they have a lot of fringe players trying to establish themselves (which makes cohesion on the court difficult), they have almost no home court advantage, and it’s hard to be optimistic about the short term.

But Marks and Atkinson know it’s not about the short term.

Hopefully, ownership understands that as well, stays back, and lets the men do their jobs. Find some young talent, trade for what they can, and develop it. Progress will be incremental for years.

Marks has made a lot of good moves as GM, but no quick fixes are coming to Brooklyn. They don’t even have enough picks to trust the process. Progress is going to be incremental.

Marks and Atkinson may get a drop or two of blood from the stone — if you consider five more wins some blood — but don’t expect miracles.

Expect a long journey — and Marks to keep them walking on the right path. Which is all that can be reasonably asked.