The Nets have named Trajan Langdon assistant GM, a move that brings together two common threads of Brooklyn's recent moves, trusted connections with Russian ownership and the Spurs organization.
Langdon, a hot-shooting guard out of Anchorage, Alaska, and Duke, spent most of his playing career overseas at CSKA Moscow, then owned by Mikhail Prokhorov. On retiring from international play, he joined the Spurs staff where he worked with Sean Marks. Langdon, the first Alaskan to play in the NBA, also speaks Russian.
Mike Mazzeo wrote after the announcement that "People around the NBA rave about Langdon’s international scouting background, articulateness and ability as a talent evaluator."
The hiring is the first major staff move since Marks took over as GM three weeks ago.
"We are very pleased to welcome Trajan and his family to the Brooklyn Nets," said Marks. "Trajan is someone I worked with closely at the Spurs, and he brings a unique combination of NBA and European experience to the position. Trajan's recent front office post with Cleveland added to his professional resume, and I want to thank the Cavs for their cooperation in this effort. The Nets look forward to Trajan's contributions."
Langdon, 39, joins the Nets after having served as the director of player administration and basketball operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers since September, 2015. While with the Cavaliers, Langdon worked closely with the team’s general manager on various basketball and front office matters, with their community relations team on player programs, and was responsible for pro player personnel reporting for opponents, college and D-League scouting.
Langdon began his front office career with the Spurs, serving as a pro scout from 2012-15, and was a member of the team’s front office during their 2013-14 championship season. Marks was a Spurs assistant coach on that title team.
A first round pick (11th overall) of the Cavaliers in 1999, the 6'4" Langdon played three seasons with Cleveland, where he totaled 119 games, and became the first Alaskan to play in the NBA. Following his stint in the NBA, Langdon played nine seasons overseas in Russia, Turkey and Italy. His best years came with CSKA Moscow, where he was a two-time Euroleague champion (2006, 2008), Euroleague Final Four MVP (2008), two-time All-Euroleague First Team selection (2007, 2008) and All-Euroleague Second Team selection (2006). He was also named to the Euroleague 2001-10 All-Decade Team.
At the time, Prokhorov owned the team, Nets board member Sergey Kushchenko was GM and Ettore Messina, now the Spurs lead assistant coach, was head coach. While at Cleveland, he worked with David Blatt, former head coach of Team Russia.
Langdon's international experience fits with Marks' stated intention of scouring Europe and elsewhere for talent to make up for the Nets lost draft picks.Langdon spoke about his role as a scout in a 2013 interview with Ridiculous Upside, an SB Nation blog.
No word on the status of Frank Zanin, who has served as assistant GM and filled in after between the time Billy King was reassigned in January and Marks hired in February.