The Brooklyn Nets are expected to part ways with a main guard depth piece from last season. Brooklyn plans to release Edmond Sumner after pushing back the guaranteed date for his $2.24 million salary to July 15, according to HoopsHype's Michael Scotto.
The 27-year-old made 53 appearances (12 starts) last season, averaging 7.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 46/36/92 shooting splits in 13.2 minutes per game. At 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, Sumner brought much-needed size and athleticism to Brooklyn's backcourt defensively. His release comes after the Nets brought in a pair of younger guards with eye-popping athleticism in Dennis Smith Jr. and Lonnie Walker IV.
Brooklyn promptly filled Sumner's roster spot Friday by signing former Thunder and Suns forward Darius Bazley. The 6-foot-9 wing/power forward was the 19th pick in the 2019 draft, playing three full seasons with Oklahoma City before being traded to Phoenix at last year's deadline.
He averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game off the bench last season while playing out of position at backup center. However, the former McDonald's All-American showed promise in his first three seasons, making 117 starts and averaging 10.0 points and 5.8 rebounds on 41/31/70 shooting splits.
Bazley adds more size and athleticism for a Nets team that finished 28th in defensive rebounding last season. He adds to Brooklyn's youth movement this summer, joining a projected rotation predominately in its mid-20s: Mikal Bridges (26), Cam Johnson (27), Nic Claxton (24) and Ben Simmons (26), Walker IV (24) and Smith Jr. (25).
The Nets have 14 players under contract following Sumner's release and Bazley's signing. With $9.8 million in space below the luxury tax line, Brooklyn has the $12.4 million mid-level exception to use in free agency and multiple trade exceptions, the largest of which is $20 million.