Brooklyn Nets HC Kenny Atkinson sees Caris LeVert as third star

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Kenny Atkinson, Caris LeVert

Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson feels Caris LeVert can become the team’s third star. And who’s to say he’s wrong?

In a league of big-twos — LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, Terry Rozier and Cody Zeller (I’m hilarious, I know) — presumably, the best way to stand out would be to build a somewhat traditionalist big-3.

At least, that’s the thinking within the Brooklyn Nets organization. However, maybe not in the way we expect.

After Washington decided to set the #BradleyBeal2BKN rumors on fire and flushing them down the toilet, Brooklyn is betting big on finding that star from within. Coach Kenny Atkinson has just the right guy picked out.

Atkinson told Newsday‘s Brian Heyman that he feels Caris LeVert is “trending toward (being the third star), I do,” Atkinson said.

“Small sample size, but I think he has the ability. I think he has the talent. There are some things he’s got to work on to get there. Am I going to be a two-way player? Am I going to defend, too? Is his catch-and-shoot going to go from 30% to 36%, 37%? I know he’s working on it. But those are kind of the two areas to get to that level, and he knows that … but he definitely has the talent and the ability to get to that level.”

We’ve certainly already seen the seeds of Caris’ growth so far. (Incoming overreaction to preseason) but he recently netted (no pun intended) 22 big boy points against the supersized Los Angeles Lakers. More impressive was his playmaking, which appears to have progressed ever-so-slightly over the summer.

In response to the two topics coach Kenny touched on, Caris nailed 46.2% of his preseason threes and averaged two steals. Maybe Atkinson is on to something …

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