In an interview with NBA Italia, the Nets director of global scouting, said the organization needs to be “creative” not only trying for players at the draft but with the free agents signings also and ... in the international market.
Gianlucca Pascucci, who came to the Nets from the No. 2 position in Houston, called the Nets rebuild not a long term plan, not a short term plan but “a medium term plan,” but didn’t put suggest how long in years.
“it is always difficult to set a deadline in terms of years, we know that we are starting from the bottom, and every year we have to try to move a step forward, improve a bit, also through creative moves in the draft and free agency,” Pascucci said when asked about a deadline for getting to the top of the NBA. “It is a medium-term plan.”
As for this year’s draft, Pascucci called the situation “not an easy situation.”
“We will have the Boston pick which will probably be in the mid twenties,” he noted, adding, “we have to improve our scouting, do it in more depth, and also hope to be a bit lucky in finding a (good) player (late in the first round) like we did last year with Caris LeVert who is having an excellent first year as a rookie in the NBA.”
As for the international possibilities, Pascucci did not mention Sean Marks’ recent nine-day scouting trip to Europe, but noted the front office staff may be young but is very prepared and with a lot of experience on the international scene.
“For sure, we have a top staff, with great passion and international experience which can't hurt,” Pascucci said. “Only a few of you maybe know this: Kenny Atkinson began his coaching career in Europe, he was an assistant coach in Paris. A progressive and international vision of the NBA is in step with the times.”
The rebuild, he said, has some advantages and compared leaving a championship contender in Houston and joining a club deep in a rebuild mode.
“The most exciting part is to start rebuilding the team all together with a new GM, new front office, new coach, new coaching staff; sharing (with the others) the challenge of rebuilding all from scratch, building a new culture all together with the hope of getting to the top within some years,” he told the NBA Italia interviewer.
He identified what has helped him make the transition: “knowing new people, making personal connections and proving your skills to people you never worked with before.”
He also liked what he’s seen of late.
“In the last 10 games we are 5-5, that for a team that is not a top-team (is not bad). At this stage of the season we are still battling hard, winning games and sometimes we put more energy than play-off teams,” Pascucci said. “Thus, we have to give credit to the coaching staff, Kenny Atkinson, his assistants for having these guys play hard till the end: this is the way we want to build a winning culture in the next years.”
Pascucci joined the Nets after spending four years as vice president of player personnel for the Rockets. During his time in Houston, he also served as the general manager of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the D-League affiliate of the Rockets.
He also possesses over 12 years of international coaching experience, including serving as an assistant coach with Scavolini Pesaro’s senior team in the Italian A-1 League and Euroleague.
Much thanks to BKN Nets Italy for the translation and transcript. The interview is only available online in Italy.