Sean Marks and the Nets Are in the Endgame Now
According to the New York Daily News, “selling hope is the easy part of being an NBA executive. The blueprint is simple: Refrain from long-term contracts, trade short-term assets for long-term assets, give playing time to eager youngsters, preach development and, of course, repeat several times to the media, ‘changing the culture’. Actual progress on the court is preferred but also unnecessary when the only goal is selling hope … [Auckland-born Brooklyn Nets general manager] Sean Marks, without the benefit of the most powerful weapon to a rebuild (the team’s own first-round draft picks), is ahead of the curve and ready for Phase 2,” Stefan Brody writes for the publication.
“In just two off seasons Marks, 43, has aced the important choices by hiring the right coaching staff, by assembling the right strength and conditioning team, by drafting the right players with late picks, by creating an environment conducive to development,” Brody writes.
“In other words, he followed the Spurs model after spending many years with the organisation as a player, coach and executive. He has operated skillfully as a small-market GM in a big market.
“With gobs of teams carrying enough cap space for at least one max free agent, Marks is attempting something foreign to the Spurs Way – the big-game hunt, the misdirections, the dog-and-pony show.
“It should be noted that Marks’ biggest weakness as a GM has been big-money free agency. His first major move was signing Jeremy Lin to a $36 million deal in 2016. He extended huge offer sheets to Tyler Johnson ($50 million), Otto Porter Jr. ($106 million) and Crabbe ($75 million). All of them turned into regret, but, luckily for Marks, the contracts were matched by the incumbent teams. Still, Marks was so enamoured with Crabbe he traded for the contract a year later – then squandered two first-round picks to dump it.
“For the Nets – for Marks – this is the scary new world of big-time free agency. Higher risks and higher rewards. Armed with a new contract extension, the GM has the confidence to go for it. Now he has to deliver in Phase 2.”
Marks was the first New Zealand-born player to make it to the NBA, drafted in 1998 for the New York Knicks.
Original article by Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News, June 25, 2019.