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Bobby Marks talks Boston trade ... and what might have been

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Bobby Marks - Crains

It’s Draft Lottery night and so with the Nets final debt from the big Boston trade about to come due, here’s Bobby Marks, the Nets assistant GM at the time, with yet more insights on what happened that June night in 2013. Yes, there are more insights.

Specifically, Marks talked to ESPN 101.3 in Boston Monday about how the Nets did have a long-term plan in place that included a bid for Kevin Durant! He also offers a less-than- veiled criticism of Mikhail Prokhorov for not wanting to pay “substantial” luxury taxes after the 2013-14 season.

Marks laid out the Nets thinking as they worked on the deal, noting Brooklyn was in a “win-now” mode and Boston wasn’t. It was Marks, then assistant GM to Billy King, and Mike Zarren, Danny Ainge’s No. 2, who handled the nuts and bolts of the deal.

“I thought that when we did the deal, I thought we would have a championship level team in 13-14, would be a playoff team in 14-15 and then, when the cap spike came in 2016, we’d in a good position to get a Kevin Durant or one of these marquee free agents just based on past success and we were all wrong,” offered Marks. “We misjudged the trade big time.”

The plan ended in the summer of 2014 when in rapid fire success, the Nets lost in the second round; parted ways with Jason Kidd in an ugly divorce and replaced him with Lionel Hollins; paid out $90.6 million in luxury tax; decided against re-signing Paul Pierce. That’s seems to be Marks’ key criticism, but Pierce was 37 years old and would have cost the Nets a total of $20 million in salary and luxury taxes in 2014-15.

The Nets wound up paying $20 million in luxury taxes that year anyway ... and team insiders suggested that it was just as much a basketball decision as a business one, that the Nets weren’t going anywhere so why throw good money after bad.

Marks said that decision changed the Nets planning ... for the worse.

“I didn’t think we’d have a one-year window to try to win a championship,” Marks told “The Huddle.” “And I guess when you don’t want to pay the luxury tax substantially, that can alter your plans as to what your roster is. If you change the course of direction as to how you do business, this is probably what the results were. We all paid the price dearly.”

And Marks, like Dmitry Razumov, Prokhorov’s No. 2, said he wishes the Nets hadn’t agreed to swap picks in 2017.

“I’ve said all along that my biggest regret is the pick swap that got Boston Jayson Tatum because I don’t think that had to be included in the deal and eventually, it was,” he added without explanation.

As Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told Bill Simmons this weekend, the swap was a last-minute add-on that neither Grousbeck nor Danny Ainge thought the Nets would agree to. But they did.

“I tease with Mike Zarren all the time when I going to get a street named after me outside the (TD) Garden,” Marks joked to the Boston announcers.