Chad Ford has never been a big fan of Billy King's but in his assessment of the Nets off-season, he gives King's successor high grades for the off-season mainly because he isn't King.
Ford calls King, dumped, er, "reassigned," in January, "arguably the worst NBA general manager of the past decade," and suggests that the Nets deserve a B-, despite their off-season disappointments, because of what Marks has brought to the franchise.
"The Nets' biggest move happened back in February, off the court. Replacing King, arguably the worst NBA general manager of the past decade, with Sean Marks, a protégé of Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, was a major upgrade," writes Ford in his assessment. But he warns Nets fans that "Marks won't be able to undo the damage King did to the franchise for several years."
In fact, Ford discusses Marks' internal culture-building moves before talking about draft picks and free agents.
"Marks completely overhauled the front office and scouting staffs and added a level of Spurs culture and professionalism that has drawn immediate and universal praise internally," he writes.
On the court, his assessment isn't most different from others, like David Aldridge. It's just that the grade is higher.
"There wasn't a lot that Marks could do. Stripped of assets for the next few years, he just tried to hit a series of singles. I'm not sure any of them will do much to keep the Nets from being one of the worst teams in the NBA next year."
As for what addition he likes most, Ford talks about everybody's favorite Net this week, Caris LeVert.
"I especially liked the risk of taking LeVert with a pick acquired from the Pacers for Thaddeus Young," Ford writes. "Had he not struggled with injuries this year, I think LeVert would have been a lottery pick. His versatility is exactly what coaches beg for in a wing."
There goes that man again, as Mark Jackson used to say!
The Nets B- is about the average grade in the East, the same, for example, as the Knicks.