Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks Talks Kenneth Faried, Jeremy Lin Trades
After a busy week, Marks discusses his latest moves
After a flurry of activity over a long weekend, Sean Marks discussed his latest moves at HSS Training Center on Tuesday.
In two separate, but related deals on Thursday, the Nets acquired forwards Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur, the rights to Isaia Cordinier, a protected 2019 first round draft pick and two 2020 second round draft picks (one protected) in exchange for guards Jeremy Lin, Isaiah Whitehead and a 2025 second round draft pick, in addition to giving the Atlanta Hawks the right to swap second round picks in 2023.
The Nets GM followed by signing free agent guard Shabazz Napier, who spent the last two seasons with Portland after being drafted in the first round in 2014.
Here are five key topics Marks covered at Tuesday’s availability:
FRONT COURT REINFORCEMENTS
In adding Faried, Arthur and free agent Ed Davis, who has reached agreement on a reported one-year contract with the team, Marks has made over the Brooklyn frontcourt and added needed center depth behind Jarrett Allen.
Over his seven NBA seasons, the 6-foot-8, 228-pound Faried has been known as one of the NBA’s most relentless rebounders, averaging 8.2 rebounds and 11.4 points. His lowest per 36 rebounding rate for any single season was 11.3 in 2013-14.
“I think he fits with that Brooklyn grit that we talk about in terms of how he plays; he plays with high intensity, obviously at a fast pace,” said Marks. “His game will transition well to Brooklyn and what (coach) Kenny’s (Atkinson) wanting to do here. He brings some of the intangibles that you mentioned before, which is just that interior presence, the physicality and so forth. We have Ed Davis, another one we’ve just signed. Having those two here will certainly help with that.”
Last season rebounding and interior defense were issues when the Nets played small at the center spot with Allen off the court. The 6-foot-10 Davis becomes the second tallest player on the roster behind the 6-foot-11 Allen. Neither Faried nor Davis has much history as a 3-point shooter, but the 6-foot-9 Arthur shot 41.2 percent from 3-point range over the last three years, though he was limited to 19 games last season.
“Obviously we want floor-spacers; that’s a key to this,” said Marks. “We’ll see if that happens over the course of between now and training camp if we get somebody in who does that, or we just roll with the guys we have. But it’s hard to come out of one offseason and have everything you want. It’s baby steps along the way still here.”
FAREWELL TO LIN
Though injuries limited Lin to just 37 games in two seasons in Brooklyn, Marks had nothing but good things to say about the guard, who has a deep history and connection with Atkinson. The GM credited Lin’s work ethic and his contribution to the tight-knit, team culture Marks has made a priority.
“I updated him and these things can happen pretty quickly,” said Marks of the trade development. “Summer League, Vegas, maybe it’s a little like the winter meetings for baseball where everybody is there and it gives everybody an opportunity to continue to talk and hash some things out. And again, I talked to Jeremy (Thursday) morning, and obviously things transpired pretty quickly, and I talked to him again afterwards, and he handled it like a true professional and gentleman. It’s a tough decision for everybody. I certainly don’t like having to make those calls, but at the end of the day that comes with the territory and he handled it terrific and we wish him nothing but the best.”
POSITIONING FOR NEXT SUMMER
Marks’ offseason moves, which also include the trade of center Timofey Mozgov and subsequent buyout of Dwight Howard, plus the agreement to retain free agent Joe Harris, have preserved the team’s young core while creating flexibility for major moves through this time next summer.
The Nets now have potentially two first round draft picks in 2019 if the Denver pick conveys by staying out of the top 12, and a massive amount of cap space for next year’s free agent crop … if that’s the route Marks chooses.
“I think you’ve got to be careful with just staying pat and saying this is what we’re going to do in a year from now,” said Marks. “I think what we’ve done is we’ve strategically looked at various different ways to build and we’ve been able to pivot over the course of these last couple years, and that’s the same case of what we’ll do over this next year. Obviously the cap space and future draft picks and so forth that we’ve been able to acquire will help in a variety of different ways. Whether that’s in the free agent market, I have no idea. But it just gives us more tools in the toolbox.”
At his end-of-season press conference, Marks acknowledged that eventually results would trump development in evaluating the progress of the Brooklyn rebuild. For now, he said, patience and flexibility remain the priority, and ownership, the front office and the coaching staff are all aligned.
“There’s never a number of wins that we need to reach this threshold and so forth,” said Marks. “I think as we go forward and as the year transpires, you’ll see a group of guys that are hungry, and they’ve got a lot to play for. You’ve got a lot of free agents out there, on our team included potentially. So it adds for a good competitive nature and good competitive fire on a nightly basis, and practice as well.”
ROOKIES WATCH IN LAS VEGAS
Neither of Brooklyn’s two 2018 draft picks, 19-year-old Dzanan Musa and 20-year-old Rodions Kurucs, saw action with the Nets’ NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas. Neither player had been bought out of his European contract or signed with the Nets until late in the week, and Musa was not expected to play regardless due to his long and recently concluded season.
But they were still able to spend nearly two weeks with Jacque Vaughn and the coaches on the Summer League staff, in addition to attending practices with Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert. More of their future teammates, including D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Joe Harris, were on hand for much of the week as well.
“I think it was really beneficial for those two guys specifically to be in Vegas,” said Marks. “It speaks volumes to have all our vets come out there supporting the young Summer League team. That’s all about building the culture, the camaraderie when they go out and eat together after the games and socialize. You know, just breaking bread time, hanging out which is great. These guys are coming from a whole different world to come into the NBA, Brooklyn and then thrown into Vegas on top of all that. It’s great for them to be around our coaches and get some of the expectations set out.”
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