Nets’ Dorian Finney-Smith having a resurgent shooting season

Nets’ Dorian Finney-Smith having a resurgent shooting season

Dorian Finney-Smith shot just 30.6% from 3-point range over his first 26 regular-season games with the Nets last season after arriving in Brooklyn in a deal that sent then-disgruntled guard Kyrie Irving to Dallas.

While the forward made an immediate impact in a starting role with the Nets, he obviously did not make the best first impression in terms of showcasing his ability to stretch the floor. However, he did greatly improve his efficiency from deep in the playoffs.

A 36.1% 3-point shooter over his first six seasons with the Mavericks after going undrafted out of Florida, Finney-Smith converted at a 39.1% clip in Philadelphia’s four-game sweep of the Nets. That production did not surprise Mikal Bridges, another late-season addition for Brooklyn in 2022-23. He knew what type of player Finney-Smith was.

Finney-Smith shot 38.9% from behind the arc over his final 211 regular-season games with Dallas. During the Mavericks’ seven-game series against Phoenix in the second round of the 2021-22 NBA playoffs, he shot 45% from deep. That included an 8-of-12 performance against the Suns, Bridges’ former team, in Game 4.

“I knew he always had it,” Bridges said. “I think probably the trade and stuff was just tough. Obviously nobody wants to miss when you come to a new team. I kid you not, I bet a lot of fans here definitely weren’t watching Dallas games like that, so you just kind of assume he’s missing, he can’t shoot and stuff.”

Finney-Smith has been close to automatic on his 3-point attempts this season. The 30-year-old is averaging 11 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 46.5% from the field and a career-best 45.4% from deep through his first 18 appearances. His 3-point efficiency ranks 15th in the NBA entering Saturday’s games.

“It’s good, just a confidence thing for him,” Bridges said. “Going to a new team is always tough. You want to always play your best. But I’m definitely just happy for him to get it going because I know what he can do and he’s just staying with it.”

While it is still a small sample size to draw from, Finney-Smith is beginning to rediscover his flow as a shooter. And considering that floor-spacing is at a premium in the NBA, his efficiency from deep — and presence on defense — is reportedly making Finney-Smith a valuable asset in certain league circles.

Finney-Smith is drawing interest from teams like Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia and Memphis as the Feb. 8 trade Upnewsdaily inches closer, according to HoopsHype insider Michael Scotto. Finney-Smith is signed with the Nets through next season, then has a $15.38 million player option decision for the 2025-26 season.

“Rival executives expect the Nets to continue to have a high asking price worth the equivalent of two first-round picks if they trade him with the hope that the asking price will drop closer to the trade Upnewsdaily,” Scotto wrote.

With Finney-Smith’s value nearing an all-time high, the rebuilding Nets will have to determine how well he fits into the team’s future plans in the coming months. Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale and Lonnie Walker IV are all set to enter free agency next summer.

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