Nets adding Jamal Crawford, Michael Beasley to depleted NBA restart roster

The Nets are scrambling to find replacements for players who will not participate in the NBA’s season restart because of COVID-19.

Two moves were reported Wednesday: 40-year-old guard Jamal Crawford and 31-year-old forward Michael Beasley. Crawford confirmed his signing on his Twitter feed, while The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Nets were nearing an agreement with Beasley.

Crawford hasn’t played in the NBA since April 9, 2019, when he scored 51 points for the Suns against the Mavericks. The Nets could use any type of scoring as they prep for the eight games that will determine their seeding in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They learned this week they’ll be without their second-leading scorer, Spencer Dinwiddie, who opted out after testing positive again for the coronavirus.

Beasley’s last NBA game was Feb. 5, 2019, for the Lakers. LA traded him at the deadline on Feb. 7 to the Clippers, who released him two days later. He will need to serve a five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy last August, NBA.com reported.

The Nets have lost four players to the coronavirus or COVID-19 concerns in the leadup to the resumption of play: Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince and Wilson Chandler. Brooklyn can replace all four on its roster. It will have two more spots to fill after officially adding Crawford and Beasley. One of the spots is expected to go to forward Justin Anderson; it’s not clear who will get the other spot.

In addition to the COVID cases, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Nicolas Claxton will be sitting out because of injuries.

The minutes leaders among the remaining healthy players are Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Garrett Temple, Jarrett Allen and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. 

Brooklyn will begin its restart July 31 vs. the Magic.

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