Landry Shamet officially became a Net Thursday night, but don’t think he hadn’t already impressed the right people in the organization.
Kevin Durant had not only praised Shamet during 2019’s Clippers-Warriors playoff series, but developed a friendship and invited the guard to the Nets’ ad hoc workouts earlier this month at The Sports Academy. And Shamet already knew Steve Nash from living in the same Los Angeles neighborhood.
After taking part in the pickup games organized by Durant and Kyrie Irving, now Shamet is in Brooklyn gearing up to join those two stars for real.
“It’s funny, that’s who I was primarily playing a lot of pickup with a bit at Mamba Sports Academy this fall,” Shamet said. “Over my offseason, I’ve been able to play with those two guys, play against them, get to know them.
“I’m excited. I like how they both play. They both move, they want to set screens and play in space. They’re unselfish, willing passers. They’re smart. My wheels have been spinning on how I can get involved and how I can get those guys shots and how I’ll be able to contribute.”
Durant praised Shamet after the Clippers’ 31-point rally versus Golden State in Game 2 of 2019’s first round. But after this past season’s second-round exit, amid reports of poor chemistry, Shamet said the Nets working out en masse bodes well.
“Having them have a number of guys in LA, all playing pickup every day together, that’s a great start,” Shamet said. “Getting to know each other before push comes to shove and before things get really hard, that’s No. 1.”
Shamet insists Durant never recruited him.
“No we didn’t talk about teaming up,” Shamet said. “We always talk, have a good relationship — and that whole playoff series against Golden State … was great to initially build that relationship. Then every time I’ve seen him since it’s been more and more. We were texting, but didn’t really talk about any trades.”
That value is a young career 40.0 percent shooter from deep and willing defender. Of course, Nash was already a fan. Or at least his son was.
“I lived in Manhattan Beach/Hermosa Beach area in LA and so does Steve. It was last Christmas, I’m having dinner with my agent, Steve’s there eating with his family and he comes over with his son and he’s like ‘Hey man sorry to interrupt, really don’t want to bother you, but my son is a big fan. Mind if he takes a picture?’
“I’m looking at him like, ‘Dude, I should be asking to take a picture with you.’ It was crazy. … So yeah, I met him there and we had somewhat of a relationship — then obviously talked to him when the trade went down. I’m excited.”
Dealing for Shamet shows the Nets are in win-now mode. With 19 games of playoff experience, he’s more seasoned than any rookie.
“Landry’s played big games. When you’ve played in playoff games and you’re at that age – you’re a young guy – that speaks volumes,” said GM Sean Marks. “He’s obviously been trusted in other places he’s been, and doesn’t shy away from big moments. It goes back to the experience he’s already had, but also adding more of that shooting piece. I think he’s a very versatile defender as well.”