Bobby Marks, now working for The Vertical --and living in Florida, is doing something akin to an NBA advice column this summer, examining non-playoff teams from a variety of aspects and offering suggestions on how to make things better. Bobby's initial offering looks at the team he worked with for 20 years: your Brooklyn Nets.
In effect, Bobby Marks is advising Sean Marks (no relation). And yes, there is some irony here since Sean is trying to fix what the Billy King front office --aka "The Killer B's"-- broke.
Bobby's key pieces of advice sound a lot like a lessons learned exercise from a war game gone wrong....
--"The Nets need to find the best coach for them and not the most popular name." Bobby seems to be suggesting the Nets have to end their annual coach hunt and go with a long-term (young?) hire.
--"The new coach will need to focus heavily on player development, which is something Brooklyn has lacked the last few years." That's quite the indictment. (To be fair, it was Bobby who set up the Nets relationship with the Springfield Armor ... and it was others who dawdled and let it die, just as the Nets had traded nearly all their picks.)
--"The Nets need to come up with a plan that involves more than a one- or two-year window. They need to develop and sustain their product for the long haul. Brooklyn cannot afford to be in the same situation five years from now." Ahem, yes. That of course was Jason Kidd's big complaint on exiting the Nets front office: too much opportunism, not enough planning. And it appears to be Sean's big priority.
--"The Nets will need to explore every option in July and look into the international market for players." That, too, was a problem for those Sean replaced. Taking risks on D-League players --like Sean did with Sean Kilpatrick-- was not a high priority. Bobby praises the Kilpatrick move.
--"With ample cap space, Brooklyn will need to focus on finding a starting point guard and filling out the bench. In a free-agent class lacking proven names, Brooklyn will need to be patient." Patience of course was never in ample supply in the ancien regime, starting from the top down, and Sean is preaching it.
Beyond the lessons learned, Bobby recommends that the Nets go the route Portland took this summer, focusing not so much on what he says is an overpriced and overprized free agent market but on younger free agents like the Trail Blazers did last summer. In a matter of months, Neil Olshey acquired either in free agency or by trade Noah Vonleh, Ed Davis, Mason Plumlee, Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless and Cliff Alexander, all building blocks.
Bobby also thinks Sean needs to think long and hard about what to do with the inconsistent Bojan Bogdanovic
"Can Bogdanovic carry over his second-half performance into next season?" Bobby asks. "Is he reliable enough to slot into the starting two-guard spot? The 27-year-old has shown flashes in his first two seasons but has not been able to string together a consistent body of work."
Bottom line, says Bobby, is that next year shouldn't be so much about making the playoffs, but player development. It would be nice to do both, also like Portland.
Meanwhile, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders offers his prescription which is nearly identical to Bobby Marks, but with one big difference. Hamilton thinks the Nets should trade Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, writing,."It is difficult imagining their trade value getting any lower, it is probably safe to assume that it won’t get any higher, either."