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Brooklyn Nets: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scrimmages Thursday

With 1 preseason game remaining, Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson participated Thursday in his first scrimmage. He’s been out with a hip injury.

Thursday was a big day for injured Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who participated in his first scrimmage this preseason after being limited in practice all training camp long because of a strained left adductor.

Hollis-Jefferson was originally injured in early August while participating in the charity game staged by former Net Jeremy Lin in China and has not played in any of Brooklyn’s first three preseason games,

Michael Scotto of The Athletic had the report:

Hollis-Jefferson was the Nets’ primary starter at the 4 last season, though he did miss time last season with a bruised right hip and a groin injury.

In 68 games, 59 of them starts, he posted career-high averages of 13.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, while also getting 1.0 steals in 28.2 minutes per night.

He shot 47.2 percent overall — a career-best — and hit 24.1 percent from deep and 78.8 percent at the line.

Hollis-Jefferson has battled injuries before in his career, missing 53 games as a rookie with a fractured ankle.

He was the 23rd overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers out of Arizona in the 2015 NBA Draft and was acquired on his draft night by the Nets along with veteran guard Steve Blake in exchange for center Mason Plumlee and second-round pick Pat Connaughton.

Hollis-Jefferson is entering the final year of his rookie contract, with a deadline to extend his deal coming up on Monday, the eve of the opening of the NBA season. If not extended, RHJ would enter next offseason as a restricted free agent.

He is a slasher by nature, but extended his range out to the 3-point line last season, hitting 47.7 percent from 10 to 16 feet and 44 percent from 16 feet out to the arc.

His deep shooting was an offseason emphasis this year before being sidelined.

Napier still sidelined

In the same report, backup point guard Shanazz Napier remained out of action. He strained his right hamstring early in training camp and has not played this preseason.

Napier on July 17 signed a two-year, $3.78 million contract with Brooklyn as an unrestricted free agent, with the second year a team option.

The four-year veteran played the last two seasons in Portland, where he had the best season of his career in 2017-18. Playing as the team’s third guard behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Napier averaged 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 20.7 minutes per game.

His .420/.376/.841 shooting slash line represented career-highs in each category, as Napier played in 74 games, starting 10.

The well-traveled Napier was the 24th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft after he led Connecticut to an NCAA title as a senior. The Hornets traded his draft rights to the Miami Heat for the rights to both P.J. Hairston and Semaj Christon.

After just a single season on South Beach, Napier was shipped to the Orlando Magic in July 2015 for a protected 2016 second-round pick that did not convey (read, Orlando got him for nothing).

A year later, he was traded again, this time to the Blazers for cash considerations.

Crabbe not likely to play Friday

Meanwhile, injured shooting guard Allen Crabbe is not expected to play Friday in the preseason finale at Madison Square Garden. Crabbe is officially day-to-day with a sprained left ankle sustained very early in Monday’s overtime win over the Detroit Pistons.

According to Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Crabbe arrived at Montreal’s Bell Centre Wednesday night on crutches, but Crabbe and coach Kenny Atkinson downplayed the severity of the injury, calling it a mild sprain. Atkinson addressed Crabbe status for the preseason finale.

“I don’t anticipate him playing Friday … it’s possible, but not probable. My hope is it’s as short-term as possible, because, yes, any injury, it sets you bacl. That’s just how it is.”

Crabbe injured the same ankle last season during training camp, effectively wiping out his preseason and delaying his start to the regular year.

Next: 10 best Nets from the first NBA decade (1976-86)

After Friday’s preseason game against the New York Knicks, the Nets will prepare for the regular-season opener next Wednesday in Detroit.



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