Nets could get Seth Curry, Goran Dragic back in time for Heat

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While Kyrie Irving’s potential return to Brooklyn overshadowed all other Nets news, he’s not the only backcourt boost Brooklyn is planning.

Guards Seth Curry and Goran Dragic both missed Wednesday’s 132-120 loss to the Grizzlies, but coach Steve Nash expects both to be back for Saturday’s tilt at Miami.

“I think we’re all optimistic about Saturday. We’ll see,” said Nash. “I can’t guarantee that. But I think that’s the hope.”

Curry was out with a left ankle sprain, while Dragic sat with left knee soreness. The ankle has bothered Curry since before he got traded from Philadelphia to Brooklyn.

Both guards traveled with the Nets and took part in the morning shootaround. It sounded as if they were held out for precautionary reasons.

“I don’t think it’s a question of what they’re able to it’s more like let’s hold off,” Nash said. “Let’s give them another six, eight hours to recover and take a look at it.”

Seth Curry
NBAE via Getty Images

Center Andre Drummond, who arrived with Curry from the 76ers in the James Harden trade, added “I saw Seth [in the] morning and he seemed like himself, so at the end of the day it’s his decision, what he feels comfortable doing. I’m not the training staff.”

There was no update on Ben Simmons’ status or timeline to practice. He’s still just doing rehab and his physical therapy. But the All-Star has at least had some improvement after having an epidural a week ago.

“I think so,” Nash said. “What does that mean? Does that mean he’s ready to rip the rim off? No. He’s feeling relief but still no on-court work.”

Simmons is facing a race against time to be cleared to practice, then ramp up and play before the regular-season finale. But Nash said he wouldn’t hesitate to put the 25-year-old on the court in the playoffs even if he hasn’t suited up for even a second during the season.

“Yeah,” Nash said. “I don’t know if that means he starts and plays 40 minutes, but I’m somewhat on the spectrum of being happy to incorporate him into the group.”

Irving, Bruce Brown, Kevin Durant, Kessler Edwards and Drummond started Wednesday night, Brooklyn’s team-record 41st different starting lineup of the season.

Drummond was back after missing the prior game with a non-COVID illness, and revealed he’d been dealing with aftereffects of taking a COVID vaccine booster shot.

The veteran center spoke about the importance of the Nets’ re-signing restricted free agent Nic Claxton, since he himself is on an expiring contract.

“He’s a young big, too. And if we’re all being honest, I’m only here til the rest of the season, so who knows what’s gonna happen in the offseason,” said Drummond. “So they need a guy like that.”


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