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Sean Marks Has Work Cut Out For Him With Brooklyn Nets

Sean Marks, left, and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs. (Photo by Chris Birck/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sean Marks, left, and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs. (Photo by Chris Birck/NBAE via Getty Images)


As we move past the NBA Trade Deadline, every Brooklyn Nets fan is seemingly asking one major question…

What the heck are the Nets trying to do to get better?

Face it Nets fans, the team is in turmoil. Your team is well over the NBA salary cap, have no first-round picks until 2019 and is a team mostly void of any talent resembling even a playoff team, let alone a championship team. How did it all go wrong? It all started with the trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Celtics to Brooklyn.

The Nets, general manager Billy King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov wanted to make a splash for their first season in Brooklyn by trading for future Hall of Famers Pierce and Garnett. The team had a win-now mentality and wanted to bring in the veterans to add to the nucleus of Brook Lopez and Deron Williams. The problem with the trade was that in addition to trading five role players, the Nets traded away their 2014, 2016 and 2018 draft picks (the Celtics can choose to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2017 which is a definite) in order to get to the playoffs. Think the movie “Draft Day” when Kevin Costner traded away Cleveland’s first-round picks for three consecutive years. Unfortunately for the Nets, they are not getting them back like Costner did in the film.

That first season with the new players provided the Nets with an appearance in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The goodwill lasted just that one season as injuries plagued the Nets and led to them trading Garnett and letting Pierce walk in free agency. So four years of first-round draft picks resulted in one winning season and a head coach in Jason Kidd who tried to gain power and ended going to Milwaukee. Now what you have is a team with an enormously overpaid player in Joe Johnson, a possible centerpiece in Thaddeus Young (who was acquired in the Garnett trade) who they may trade and a bunch of role players.

Hello Brooklyn.

On Thursday, the Nets began another new era with the hiring of Sean Marks as general manager. Marks comes from San Antonio where he served as assistant general manager for the highly successful Spurs franchise. Even with a new GM, Brooklyn has major issues to figure out and it will take years before the team even sniffs success. The brightside of the future is that the Nets will not have Johnson’s ridiculous contract on the books anymore. The fact that the Atlanta Hawks gave him a six-year, $123.7 contract was insane and what’s even more insane is that the Nets actually traded for him and took on the contract.

With the savings of over $24 million, the Nets could look into free agency and sign a starting guard. Names like DeMar DeRozan and Bradley Beal come to mind as examples of guards who will be available in the 2016 free agent market. You have to assume that the Raptors and Wizards will keep DeRozan and Beal respectively so the Nets will have to get creative. Do you take a chance on Jordan Clarkson from the Lakers who is averaging 15 points a game? Or do you take a flier on a player like Gerald Henderson and hope he regains his form from a few years back?

Marks made his first roster move over the weekend by releasing Andrea Bargnani. This should be the first of many “house-cleaning” moves made by Marks in the coming months. That means attempting to trade either Young or Brook Lopez in the summer months. The only real trade chip you have is Young, who at 27 years old is having one of the best seasons of his career and could be the missing piece for a team especially in the Western Conference. Lopez is a wrong step away from hurting himself so it would be good to try to get him away from the Nets and free up the $43 million still owed to him after this season.

There is not enough time to go into everything the Brooklyn Nets should do without writing a never-ending article. The hiring of Marks is the beginning as he has learned under the tutelage of San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford and coach Gregg Popovich. But even with a young, dynamic general manager, the results come in the form of players and wins…which is something that the Nets may not see for a couple of years. Here’s hoping ownership is a little more patient than they have been in recent years.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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