Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks On Blockbuster Trade for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond

For the second year in a row, Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks has made a franchise-altering mid-season trade, this time going down to the final hours before the trade deadline on Thursday afternoon.

Last winter’s big-ticket acquisition, James Harden, is out, with the Nets acquiring three-time All-Star Ben Simmons along with guard Seth Curry, center Andre Drummond, and two first-round draft picks.

Marks addressed the move in a post-deadline media session on Friday.

“You guys have seen and watched us play and you see where some of our holes are and to be quite frank, Ben plugs a lot of those holes,” said Marks. “The three players that we’ve traded for fit a lot of our needs. You specifically asked about Ben, the size, the elite defense, the elite passing skills, the finishing at the rim, all the things that we need, the transition play, all the things that we’ve sort of been short on to be quite frank over the course of this last year I think we’re looking forward to Ben coming in and trying to fill those roles.”

In addition to All-Defensive First Team honors each of the last two seasons, Simmons was an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2019-20. After being drafted first overall in 2016 but missing the 2016-17 season due to injury, Simmons was named Rookie of the Year following the 2017-18 season.

A 6-foot-11 guard/forward, Simmons has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists while shooting 56 percent over 275 career games. His 32 triple-doubles are 13th in NBA history.

“We're certainly excited about the pace with which Ben can bring to the team, the defensive ability, the ability to guard arguably 1 through 5 positions, the elite passing ability he has, the finishing at the rim, getting into the paint and finishing, those are some things that we are excited to see, let alone get the defensive rebound and push the break and lead the break,” said Marks. “He can also be out on the wing running the lanes. It gives (head coach Steve Nash) some other weapons to use out there and it's going to be exciting for not only Steve and Ben but the entire group.”

Simmons has not played yet during the 2021-22 season and Marks said it was still to be determined when he would take the court for Brooklyn. The Nets play in Miami on Saturday night and will have two games in Brooklyn and one at the Knicks next week before the All-Star break.

“It’s probably too early to tell when Ben is going to be on the court, since he's currently doing his MRIs and physicals and getting signed off on that,” said Marks. “So until we've seen him and seen the physical shape he's been in, we're not going to put him out on the court to where it will be detrimental to one his health and two the camaraderie that can be built within the team. So we've got to get him some practices and so forth and just see where he is physically and go from there.”

While Simmons brings a dynamic two-way game and fill-the-box-score versatility, the Nets also addressed specific areas with the acquisitions of Curry and Drummond.

Brooklyn’s 3-point shooting has slumped since the early part of the season, with Joe Harris out since mid-November. While Harris leads all active players with a 43.9 career 3-point shooting percentage that is third in NBA history, Curry is second among active players and fifth all-time with a 43.7 percentage. He’s shot over 40 percent from 3-point range each of the last six seasons and is averaging a career-high 15.0 points per game this season.

Drummond shores up Brooklyn’s rebounding. The 6-foot-10 center is 10th in NBA history and first among active players with a 13.4 career rebounding average. He led the NBA in rebounding four times in five years between the 2015-16 and 2019-20 seasons. He’s also averaging 13.9 points on 53.8 percent shooting for his career.

“Those are, honestly, deficiencies in the roster right now,” said Marks. “Deficiencies in our play. I think we all see that we need them. We need somebody who can clog up the lane, who can grab those rebounds and Andre, we’ve watched him throughout his career and he’s only 28 years old. So he’s had a long career already but we’re excited about getting him and adding that depth to our roster. You can never have enough shooting. Obviously we’ve been short on a couple shooters here with guys being out with an injury and the like. So adding Seth to this group, he’s made shots on the biggest stage. So we’re certainly excited to have him in the group and I know our coaches are excited to add all three to the group.”