The real asset in this deal for the Nets is the first-round pick, as Nicholson hasn't been much of a contributor during the 2016-17 campaign. Nicholson has averaged a meager 8.3 minutes per game and is heading into a power forward situation in Brooklyn that already has the likes of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Trevor Booker, Justin Hamilton and Quincy Acy. That likely means Nicholson will be stuck in a minor role yet again ,which means he could continue to struggle for minutes.
Nicholson played three minutes in a 120-98 win over the Thunder on Monday, recording no points and missing his only shot attempt from the field.
It was Nicholson's first appearance in six games, and the fact that it came in garbage time of a blowout illustrates how limited his role has become with the Wizards. It appears he's no better than fifth in the pecking order of Wizards big men behind Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith.
Nicholson (coach's decision) didn't see the floor in a 120-101 win over the Trail Blazers on Monday.
The Wizards cruised to a 25-point lead at halftime, which allowed coach Scott Brooks to give his bench players some more run, but since both Nicholson and Marcus Thornton are veterans who probably wouldn't benefit much from garbage-time minutes, both were spared from finishing out the game. Nicholson has made only two appearances in the Wizards' eight January games and doesn't look to be making any progress in his attempt to claim a consistent rotation role.
Nicholson played seven minutes in Saturday's 112-100 loss to the Spurs, posting two points (1-4 FG, 0-2 3Pt) and one rebound.
In addition, Nicholson picked up three fouls along the way, perhaps diminishing his chances of seeing more extended run after starting power forward Markieff Morris was ejected in the third quarter upon receiving a double technical. Morris will be back in the fold for Monday's game against the Kings, and with Ian Mahinmi (knee) returning to the Wizards frontcourt to play 14 minutes in his season debut Saturday, it looks as though Nicholson's spot in the team's rotation could be in jeopardy. The former first-round pick is already averaging 4.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in just 11.2 minutes per game, all of which are career lows.
It was uncertain heading into training camp whether or not Nicholson would hold see regular minutes once the season began, but with Ian Mahinmi (knee) out for four-to-six weeks, the 26-year-old looks to have solidified a spot in coach Scott Brooks' rotation. Even if Mahinmi was fully healthy, Nicholson may have forced the issue anyway, as he's been spectacular over the last three preseason contests. He's averaged 16.3 points (on 60% shooting from the field), 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 treys and 1.0 steal across 29.3 minutes per game during that span.
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