Sean Marks sat down with Brian Lewis and Greg Logan on Thursday and talked trade. His message was simple: Make me an offer I can’t refuse. He’s not being aggressive, he says, liking what he already has. But if the right offer comes along...
He said he’ll be “curious” about what other teams will offer for his guys.
“Just because we get a call doesn’t mean we’re going to do anything,” Marks told the beat writers for the Post and Newsday. “At the end of the day, I think if we’ve invested a lot of sweat equity in guys, I would like that to be fruitful for the Nets’ organization. I don’t know how that’s going to play out. I don’t think anybody does.”
Already, Mark Bartlestein, the agent for both Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll has said he believes, actually he said he “knows” that Marks is not out there trying to make a deal. Those two players, along with Spencer Dinwiddie and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, have been the most mentioned in trade rumors.
“I would say we’re always getting calls. That’s a credit to the players because they’ve devoted themselves and really developed themselves, and it’s a credit to our coaching staff because they’ve done a heck of a job and the performance team has done a heck of a job developing these guys.”
In fact, hours after the interview, in which Marks offered no specifics, Mike Scotto, in his debut for The Athletic, said that the Heat are interested in Carroll.
“Miami has also expressed interest in Nets forward DeMarre Carroll, league sources told The Athletic,” reported Scotto. No details, but a deal for Carroll would have to be a big one. The Nets love Carroll, who’s having a career year at 31, and he has a big contract, $14.8 million this season and $15.2 million next year. Scotto also reports that “rival executives believe former 10th overall pick Justise Winslow can be obtained on the trade market.”
Ladies and gentleman, start your trade machines!
Marks has indeed been active both at the deadline and on Draft Night. Since being named GM two years ago, he’s made eight trades with the big payoff almost always being draft picks and/or young players. He’s acquired seven picks — three firsts and four seconds, along with D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, Jahlil Okafor, and Nik Stauskas; all 25 or younger.
Note as well that Marks usually waits until the last minute —or at least the last day or two— to do deals. Last year, his first trade deadline, he traded for the pick that became Jarrett Allen the day before the deadline, then bought the contract of now-departed K.J. McDaniels on the afternoon of Deadline Day. The agreement to deal Brook Lopez for Russell, et cetera, came two days before the draft and was finalized during the draft.
Marks told Lewis and Logan that there are variables that will affect his decisions. He’s still looking long-term, but he’s also looking at what he’s been trying to build in Brooklyn.
“There’s also continuity. There’s developing a culture, there’s systems. How aggressive are you going to be in free agency this year, next year, three years from now? There’s so many [variables]. We’ve got to have the long view here,” he noted.
The Nets do have some breathing room. They don’t have to make decisions on long-term deals for Russell, Hollis-Jefferson, Dinwiddie, and even the injured Lin until the summer of 2019. If they want to keep Okafor —and he certainly seems to want to stay— they can sign him to a one-year deal and then see how much they like him in a year.
Harris of course is a different matter. He will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Will the Nets sign him to a big deal or trade him away? Marks said he’s aware this isn’t just a business for him.
“It’s a business for them, too, right?” Marks said. “Everybody has a walkaway, right? We have walkaways. We’ll see. You never know. We’ve been creative up until this point. We’ve been patient up until this point. That’s going to continue. We’re going to be curious. There’s going to be other guys that we find and develop along the way here. It could be one, it could be three, I have no idea.”
(He probably has some idea.)
Then, of course, there’s the emotional issue. When the Nets dealt Trevor Booker, a popular locker room presence, for Okafor and Stauskas, the front office spoke to each player individually. Balancing the culture and the business is not easy.
“Anybody that comes here, let’s put our arm around them and see how we can help their game, put them in a place to succeed. That pays off. That’s where you get guys going ‘Hey, I appreciate what they did for us,’” Marks argued.
“Whether that means they’re going to greener pastures elsewhere, great. But my hope would be when anybody leaves … they speak highly of however they were treated. That’s all I can hope for.”
The deadline is next Thursday, 3pm ET. As they say, hold on to your butts.
- Nets won’t rule out trading some veteran pieces - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- With NBA trade deadline approaching, Nets general manager Sean Marks is all ears - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Scotto: Breaking down the NBA trade deadline possibilities, team-by-team - Michael Scotto - The Athletic