Joe Harris, Ben Simmons, TJ Warren, Markieff Morris and possibly Edmond Sumner are all more likely to play large minutes in the Nets rotation this season. Loads of followers’ hopes are invested in these players, who final yr mixed to play solely 31 video games, 17 by Morris, 14 by Harris. The remainder of them — Simmons, Warren and Sumner — zeroed out in 2021-22: no video games performed.
Last week, we discovered from Brian Lewis that Joe Harris is able to go after present process two surgical procedures in November and March on his left ankle.
“Yes. He’s all good. He’s all good,” Harris; agent Mark Bartelstein mentioned. “He’s wholesome. He’s in an amazing place. He’s able to go for certain.”
Now, Sunday, Lewis is reporting what Sumner hinted at in a tweet 10 days in the past, that he, too, is able to go, saying he had reached a milestone, presumably which means he had gone five-on-five for the first time. The Nets agreed to signal him after a June exercise when his rehab was nonetheless underway. His surgeon is Nets foot and ankle specialist Dr. Martin O’Malley who additionally did Kevin Durant’s achilles.
“He’s going to be proper the place he must be,” mentioned Mike Robertson, Sumner’s coach. “He’s back into five-on-five now, getting up and down the court. The final stage now could be getting used to enjoying commonly, getting his legs beneath him. … I’m assured he is going to be back and looking out superb come the begin of the yr.”
No phrase but on the remainder of the Nets strolling wounded. Last we heard on Simmons (back surgical procedure) was from Shams Charania. On August 22, he wrote: “Simmons has been cleared for three-on-three basketball actions following back surgical procedure in May, and he’s on monitor to be cleared for full five-on-five actions in the coming weeks,”
No phrase on whether or not he is superior to five-on-five though Nets social media has been stuffed with photographs of him on the court, in the weight room. Same with Sumner (achilles), Warren (foot) and Morris (neck.) Everyone is meant to be back and able to go by coaching camp, now a mere eight days away. (And at the begin of camp, just about each crew will reveal some minor medical points that do not rise to the stage of the dreaded “medical replace” however might maintain players on the sidelines for a part of camp.)
In the meantime, as Lewis notes, players have gone by way of loads simply to get the place they are now. It typically lays out concisely what Sumner, who blew out his achilles tendon a yr in the past, has performed in latest weeks as he preps for the Nets season, laying issues out in his two opening paragraphs Sunday:
The day earlier than Edmond Sumner’s wedding ceremony, he was in the health club, figuring out and rehabbing his torn Achilles tendon.
The day earlier than flying to Bora Bora for his South Pacific honeymoon? He was back once more, placing in that sweat fairness in an Indiana health club.
Going the extra mile, his coach mentioned, is what Sumner is about. Not solely did he bear hyperbaric oxygen remedy (respiratory pure oxygen in a chamber with the air stress elevated two and even threefold), he quadrupled the norm.
“The commonplace protocol is 5 occasions per week for 2 weeks,” Robertson informed The Post. “That dude, he did 40 classes over the subsequent eight weeks… to expedite the therapeutic course of and get that Achilles healed sooner. … He simply knew precisely learn how to assault the course of.”
The Nets won’t want Sumner as a lot as they’ll want Simmons, Harris or Warren this season. The 6’6″ 26-year-old can play each guard positions and the wing. He can be a plus defender so he’ll doubtless get some minutes with the Nets. Like Warren and Morris, he is a low-risk, high-reward signing. He has a partial assure and if he performs nicely this season, the Nets can have him for a second yr at vets minimal.
But placing apart the cash and contract size what Sumner and the others have performed up to now is about the love of the recreation, the love of the work. Can’t assist rooting for the return. As Lewis additionally notes, “The Nets ended their sorry 2021-22 season vowing to get back to their gritty id and work ethic, and one factor is crystal clear: Their new guard suits the invoice.”