NBA

Nets and GM Sean Marks agree to extend contract: sources

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Nets general manager Sean Marks has signed a contract extension that keeps him in Brooklyn at the top of roster decisions for the foreseeable future, the Daily News has learned. The extension for Marks, who was signed around the beginning of July according to sources, comes as the Nets maneuver the most important offseason in franchise history.

Franchise cornerstone Kevin Durant has requested a trade with four years worth $198 million remaining on his deal, and superstar guard Kyrie Irving opted for the final year of his $37 deal. millions of dollars. But the Nets weren’t willing to sign him to a long-term, fully guaranteed deal because of decisions Irving made that made him ineligible (or unavailable) to play much of last season.

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Durant’s trade request came before Marks’ extension, according to the source. Marks’ front office staff also negotiated new deals.

The extension makes sense from a scouting perspective: Marks and his team, including assistant general manager Jeff Peterson, have been adept at identifying talent, especially in the draft. This summer, the front office showed its ability to build a full team: the Nets signed talented scorer TJ Warren on a minimum veteran contract, acquired winger 3 and D Royce O’Neale for a first-round pick in 2023 in a trade with the Utah Jazz, re-signed Nic Claxton and Patty Mills on two-year contracts and took a flyer on Edmond Sumner, a high-flying wing who recovered from an Achilles injury. Brooklyn still has its taxpayer’s mid-tier exception, which it can use to sign an additional impact player or two.

Under Marks’ watch, however, the Nets built one of the most talented teams in NBA history, only to have it fall apart a season later. After Marks proclaimed Durant, Irving and James Harden would be “signed, sealed and delivered” as the Nets for years to come, Harden already left via trade to Philly, Durant demanded a trade and Irving’s status with the team remains uncertain. Former Net and fan favorite Bruce Brown also said on Instagram Live that Brooklyn never offered him a contract extension when he had just completed a year in his career. Brown then signed a two-year deal worth $13 million with the Denver Nuggets, reuniting with former Net Jeff Green, whom the Nets didn’t have the cap space to keep with a bigger offer. than Denver.

Under Marks, the Nets sacrificed the majority of their draft assets in Harden’s initial deal, then moved Harden for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks. Simmons (mental illness/back injury) never played a game or practiced 5-on-5 in Brooklyn and had back surgery at the end of the season. Drummond left Brooklyn and signed a deal with the Chicago Bulls, Curry remains under contract for another year and Marks sent the first of those first-round picks from Philly to Utah as part of the deal for O’ Neale.

Marks amassed a 217-255 regular season record during his tenure as Nets general manager and is responsible for completely revamping what was once the league’s worst NBA franchise. Since taking the reins as general manager in 2016, Marks’ Nets have earned a reputation as one of the premier development centers in all of basketball with receipts in the form of D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, who each went on to play important roles on other league teams. Marks traded Allen as part of the Harden deal and traded Dinwiddie to the Wizards for a trade exception. Allen then signed a five-year, $100 million contract with Cleveland and Dinwiddie was later traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he thrived in a supporting role for Luka Doncic.

Several of the Nets’ developmental coaches also left the organization, including assistant coach Adam Harrington, and former assistant coach Ime Udoka left Brooklyn to take over as head coach of the Boston Celtics, to sweep the Nets of the first round. Marks is also responsible for hiring Steve Nash as the head coach of a team competing for a championship despite Nash having no formal experience as an assistant.

If the Nets are able to find a trade for Durant and Irving, it will be up to Marks to build a playoff contender around Simmons, provided Simmons is still on the roster. The Nets would be part of the Donovan Mitchell contest, and the NBA collective bargaining agreement prevents the Nets from acquiring Mitchell in a trade if Simmons is on the roster.

Marks has a proven track record of identifying and developing talent, and if the deals for Durant and Irving go through, he will oversee a treasure trove of draft assets and young players that the franchise needs to develop into winning pieces as a result. of the catastrophe that was the Seven-Eleven Era. Again, it was Marks’ decision to trade the young core he had developed into the very stars he could lose this summer.

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