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Nets sign ex-Knicks forward Noah Vonleh as roster tinkering continues

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The Nets continue to tinker with their team depth, signing free-agent forward Noah Vonleh on Monday to an undisclosed contract, the team announced.

The 6-foot-10 Vonleh — the ninth-overall pick by Charlotte in the 2014 NBA Draft — appeared in 36 games last season for Minnesota and Denver, averaging 3.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 10.5 minutes per appearance.

The 25-year-old power forward also registered career highs of 8.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Knicks in 2018-19. He signed with the Bulls in November but was released less than three weeks later.

The Nets also signed Norvel Pelle and Iman Shumpert to non-guaranteed deals last week to help fill the roster openings created by the inclusion of Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince and Rodions Kurucs in the James Harden blockbuster trade.

Second-year center Nic Claxton, who hasn’t played this season due to a knee injury, says he’s progressed to three-on-three drills with the coaching staff. Steve Nash said he’s “probably a good three weeks … at a minimum” from returning to the lineup.

“I don’t have a date for you, but he is progressing,” Nash said. “He’s almost a half-measure of the ‘stay-ready’ group and will be there shortly hopefully. So there’s progress and there’s what seems like momentum and some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Noah Vonleh with the Knicks in 2019.
Noah Vonleh with the Knicks in 2019.
Anthony J Causi

The 21-year-old Claxton was limited to 15 appearances as a rookie due to shoulder surgery, averaging 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game.

“As far as the team, we’re extremely talented. When we decide to apply ourselves defensively is when we’re at our best,” said Claxton, the Nets’ 2019 second-rounder out of Georgia. “I’ve just been watching and looking for ways that I’ll be able to help the team when it’s my time.

“Just being an energy guy, getting offensive rebounds, helping us out defensively, being vocal, quarterbacking the defense. As far as offensively, just bringing that versatility piece, being able to finish around the rim and being able to catch lobs and do different things.”

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