Nets sign rookie Kessler Edwards to two-way contract


Brooklyn inked rookie Kessler Edwards to a two-way contract Monday, the first of the Nets’ trio of second-round picks to sign.

The 6-foot-8 forward — drafted No. 44 out of Pepperdine — got one of the two two-way deals that the Nets could offer.

“Yeah, it feels great,” Edwards told The Post. “I mean, honestly it’s similar to the feeling I felt on draft night. It feels great to officially be a part of the Brooklyn Nets family, and I really enjoy my time in the summer league.

“It was kind of just a sigh of relief and then just coupled with excitement; something I’m very thankful for, but also ready to get to work.”

Edwards has been working in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 5.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in 20.5 minutes. His best outing was a 14-point, nine-board, two-block outing in a win over Washington.

After Brooklyn’s comeback win over San Antonio on Sunday, assistant general manager Matt Riccardi gave Edwards the good news, that he’s coming to training camp with a two-way contract as part of the Nets. And the 21-year-old got to share the moment with his family. A native of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Edwards’ family had driven out to watch him play in Las Vegas.

Kessler Edwards
NBAE via Getty Images

“When they told me [Sunday], I actually told my family,” Edwards said. “My family is out here in Las Vegas. They came out with me when I signed.”

The Nets signed Edwards with an eye toward developing him into a prototypical 3-and-D wing. He averaged 13.4 points on 38.7 percent shooting at Pepperdine, including 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and a steal as a junior.

“Yeah, for sure, they told me they just want to see me doing all the little things, along with rebounding the ball, crashing the glass, run the floor, spacing the floor, knocking down open shots and then really just guarding 1-through-5,” Edwards told The Post. “Those 3-pointers and that defensive ability and versatility is what I take pride in. That’s what I like doing the most when I play.”

Edwards can play up to 50 games with Brooklyn as a two-way player. But unlike prior seasons, he won’t be limited in terms of practices or workouts with the Nets. He’ll get half the veteran minimum, or $462,629.

GM Sean Marks had said recently, “We still have to agree on a two-way position,” implying that one of the pair was already spoken for.

Edwards — taken with a pick acquired from Indiana in the James Harden megatrade — got that two-way, ahead of No. 49 pick Marcus Zegarowski and No. 59 selection RaiQuan Gray, who are both as yet unsigned but could be inked directly to G-League Long Island.

Meanwhile, with the Nets continuing in summer league on Tuesday and starting training camp late next month in La Jolla, Calif. — drivable from Edwards’ hometown — the Nets have told the young forward what’s expected of him.

“Just more of the same. I think the main thing is they just want to see me play hard and compete, give them a lot of effort when I’m on the floor,” Edwards said. “I think I know and they know that I’m just going to develop, but they just want to see me just really compete and maximize my potential.”

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