So far so good in the Sean Marks era. Marks focus has been on making the Brooklyn Nets as young as they've been in years -- just under 26 years of age. Parting ways with Joe Johnson, 34, and Andrea Bargnani, 30, helped that.
Brooklyn had an open roster spot, so instead of using it on a veteran player in the vain hope of improving the team's record, Marks looked into the D-League and signed the league's leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract.
In 28 games in the D-League, Kilpatrick averaged 26.4 points per game on 47.2 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from three-point range. The 6'4" shooting guard was a D-League All Star with the Delaware 87ers, the 76ers affiliate. At 26 years old, Kilpatrick is peaking at the right time, so it made the signing an even more appealing move. The risk was small. Signing a player with Kilpatrick's limited experience cost the Nets less than $50,000, $49,070 to be exact.
The signing was nicely timed, too. The Nets played five games in 10 days, giving the team ample time to see what Kilpatrick can contribute. After those five games, Kilpatrick showed enough to earn himself a second 10-day contract. During his short stint, Kilpatrick is averaging 9.4 points while shooting 41 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in 16.6 minutes per game. Statistically, In 36 minutes, Kilpatrick would be averaging 20 points per game. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Those are all-Star numbers and Kilpatrick has only played five games with the Nets. But it --and some solid defense-- seem to show that Sean Kilpatrick is an NBA player.
How does he fit? Kilpatrick has come off the bench and given Brooklyn some valuable minutes. He’s a presence that can provide instant offense. He's a good three-point shooter who can also put the ball on the floor and create offense for himself.
He likes it here as well.
"Coach Brown gave me an opportunity," Kilpatrick told the Nets Cory Wright. "A lot of guys throughout the game, especially guys like Markel, Shane, and I can even hear Rondae on the bench call out the plays and tell me where to go because this is my second practice, so this is something that’s fairly new to me. These guys like me and like my attitude a lot. They really feed off the type of energy that I give."
He also said David Nurse, the Nets new shooting coach, has "really been helping me get my shots off."
Interim coach Tony Brown likes what Kilpatrick has brought to Brooklyn’s bench. Brown is a fan of the combination of Kilpatrick and Markel Brown in Brooklyn’s second unit. "With the new addition of Sean Kilpatrick, they’re a good combo coming off the bench. Both are very aggressive and have a high level of confidence in what they can do." Brown said on Monday.
Marks is a believer in low-risk, high reward signings like Kilpatrick’s. Marks told Brian Lewis last week that he wants to use 10-day contract’s as a way to develop a player this season and beyond.
Marks may have found a keeper in Kilpatrick. He's also a Yonkers native and he’s excited about playing for his hometown team. "It’s not everyday you get a New York kid playing for a New York team." Kilpatrick said.
Brooklyn has until March 19th to decide if they will keep Kilpatrick for the remainder of this season and possibly next year. They have plenty of opportunities to get more of a read on him and plenty of low-cost options. It's hard to imagine that he won't be around beyond April 13. So far, so good ... for both Seans.