The Nets added forward RaiQuan Gray on a two-way deal earlier this weekend.
Brooklyn selected Gray with the 59th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Florida State University. He spent the first two seasons of his professional career playing for the Long Island Nets.
This season he appeared in 18 regular season games and averaged 15.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.7 steals. He also dropped a team-leading 25 points and seven rebounds in the G League Eastern Conference Semifinals.
With Brooklyn having already clinched a playoff spot and numerous regulars listed as questionable, Gray finally received a shot at the big leagues on Sunday afternoon’s season finale against the 76ers.
While the Nets lost, the 23-year-old certainly took advantage of that golden opportunity.
Gray stepped up for the shorthanded Nets and played 35 minutes off the bench. He dominated early, almost putting together a double-double in the first half. The power forward went on to finish the night with 16 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said postgame that he was happy to see Gray show up and play well for his squad.
“I talked to him about just being thankful for the opportunity. You don’t know when this is going to present itself in life but he was ready,” Vaughn said. “We talked about it as a group, he’s a guy that fits in around our guys, has a relationship with guys, and is easy to cheer for.”
Gray, who felt comfortable and confident out there, said he was just trying to play his game.
“I think I belong here. You know, these group of guys, I’ve been here in the summertime. So, I’m familiar with some of the faces, but it was good to get out there and experience that, you know? I think it’s like a dream come true.”
While Gray isn’t eligible to participate in postseason play, that type of success in his NBA debut will certainly be a huge boost for the youngsters confidence moving forward.
“You always want to compete against the best and the NBA is the best league in the world. Now that I’m here and I’ve got a taste, I definitely want to sharpen my game up,” Gray said.
“I know what I need to work on in order to stay here and be successful at this level, so I’m grateful for opportunity and experience and I’m going to take it and run with it.”
Source: Yahoo Sports