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Should we give Sean Marks a pass next month?

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Sean Marks

On a day when four players the Nets worked out withdrew from the Draft, Steve Lichtenstein of WFAN asks an interesting question: should Nets fans “dampen” their enthusiasm for next month’s NBA Draft?

Lichtenstein argues that last year’s Nets selections — Caris LeVert and Isaiah Whitehead — may have spoiled us. It was after all the team’s best draft since 2008, when the Nets took Brook Lopez, Ryan Anderson and Chris Douglas-Roberts.

“I have to dampen my expectations for next month’s draft, where Brooklyn will select 22nd and 27th in the first round,” Lichtenstein writes. “Marks has set a high bar, but his batting average is bound to dip after this year.

“Wing Caris LeVert, chosen with the 20th overall selection in the first round after Marks dealt forward Thaddeus Young to Indiana, and guard Isaiah Whitehead, a purchased second-rounder, may or may not develop into solid rotation players on a good team, but they at least made Marks look prescient by showing that they belong in the league.”

In an interview with Lichtenstein earlier in the week, Ian Eagle suggested that Marks had done even better.

Of LeVert, Eagle said, “If he stays healthy and you do a redraft of the 2016 draft, he is probably a top 7, top 8 talent.” Whitehead, he suggested, “has shown he's a legitimate NBA player,” something that wasn’t such a sure thing a year ago.

Lichtenstein argues that even though the Nets have two first rounders, at Nos. 22 and 27, the impact is likely to be less. One reason, the Nets are likely to draft-and-stash.

“Assuming the Nets stick to their slots, I would say the odds are high that at least one of their selections will be on what’s commonly known as a ‘Euro-stash,’ a young player who will toil in an international league until he’s NBA-ready,” argued Lichtenstein.

“However, these players almost always need time to develop, if they do at all. Besides the differences in the leagues — everything from the speed to the culture to the ball — these are kids. You can’t expect any of them to take the Barclays Center court in 2017-18.”

Lichtenstein also noted that the Nets might not choose to keep European players across the pond, but instead send them up the Long Island Railroad’s Atlantic Branch to Uniondale and the Long Island Nets.

Could they get lucky like they did with LeVert, who had had three foot surgeries in three years? Maybe, but Lichtenstein doubts it. The most likely injury play is Harry Giles, who’s had multiple knee injuries, but looks like he’s recovering nicely and likely to be taken long before the Nets pick.

Bottom line for Lichtenstein...

“That means the best Nets fans can hope for is that Marks’ crystal ball on June 22 is crystal clear, that he can foresee the development of the young players on his wish list. Unlike last year’s crop, it’s doubtful Marks will find players that impressive right out of the gate.”