Former Syracuse Star McCullough Will 'Redshirt' For Nets This Season | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / October 3.
  • Former Syracuse Star McCullough Will ‘Redshirt’ For Nets This Season

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    NCAA Basketball: Florida State at SyracuseBy JOSH NEWMAN

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Chris McCullough may be a rookie with the Nets, but he is about to experience something of a redshirt season anyway.

    The former Syracuse star is recovering from a torn ACL suffered on Jan. 11 against Florida State. Despite that, the Nets made him the 29th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

    His rehabilitation is coming along, but the Nets won’t have him available in a full capacity until around January. That means head coach Lionel Hollins is likening this season to something many college players go through when injured.

    “Basically, this is a ‘redshirt year’ and secondly, somebody said it, he’s like our Lottery pick for next year and I agree with that,” Hollins said Monday morning at Nets Media Day at PNY Center. “He’s a guy that is definitely part of the future, so hopefully, we can get him back early so he can get a lot of work in and then go through the summer and Summer League.”

    “I’m not rushing to get on the court yet,” McCullough said. “I’m just gonna take my time and get healthy first. I don’t have no timetable, I’m just gonna focus on getting healthy.”

    As part of the trade with the Atlanta Hawks that brought Joe Johnson to the Nets in 2012, the Hawks had the right to swap 2015 first-round picks with the Nets. That swap entailed the Hawks giving their 29th overall pick to the Nets, which gave back their 15th overall pick in return.

    That 29th pick was used on McCullough, who was present in the stands on draft night at his new home, the Barclays Center.

    McCullough being viewed as the Nets’ 2016 Lottery pick stems from the fact that the Nets do not have their own 2016 first-round pick. That selection, along with the Nets’ first-rounders in 2014 and 2018 went to the Boston Celtics as part of the 2013 draft night mega-trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.

    Without the pressure of actually being a high draft pick and with time to get his health in order, the focus is on the future for the Bronx native.

    “I’m injured right now, so I got one thing to focus on right now and that’s just get healthy,” McCullough said. “That’s the great thing right now. I can take my time and work on my overall game.”

    “Hopefully, he can be further along than what a Lottery pick would be,” Hollins said.

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