There’s still a few weeks left, and Sean Marks didn’t quite say it, but it sure looks like the current group of Nets, now 15 with guaranteed deals, will comprise the Brooklyn Nets for 2018-19.
“I think for now we’re going to see how this group plays together, how it all unfolds. But – again, I’m not going to rule out anything – as we stand now, this is the group and we have no plans to make any crazy changes, whether that’s an extension or signing or trade anyone else,” said Marks, before adding a typically cautionary note.
“But things happen quickly, so...”
In his first public comments since the barrage of trades and free agent signings, Marks talked about how much he liked the players he brought in, although he did kinda admit there was one thing left, a “floor spacer” up front.
“If we get somebody in who does that, or we just roll with the guys we have,” he said at Tuesday’s free agency press conference.
Of course, then seven hours later, Shams Charania reported that the Nets had reached an agreement with the Hornets’ Treveon Graham, who despite his size, 6’5”, played a lot of PF for Charlotte and has a near 44 percent career record from deep.
With Graham agreeing to a vets minimum deal, the Nets are at 15 guaranteed players, but can still add two two-way deals —Milton Doyle and James Webb III aren’t returning— and three training camp invites who are likely to play in Long Island.
As for what the Nets already have in the can, Marks said he likes how the signings have added to the Nets depth. None are expected to start. The Nets have looked to fill out their roster with specific preferences, which Marks also touched on today.
“I think when we first set out on this a couple of years ago when we looked at what are the characteristics we’d like a Net to have, obviously being competitive is one, the defensive rebounding are others and the list goes on,” said Marks.
“But you can’t add everybody at once and it’s a slow process and a build, but we’re certainly excited to add some of those pieces this year that will help in that regard, for sure.”
As the years go by, the players seem more in-line with what Kenny Atkinson envisions in terms of being active, versatile and long on both ends of the floor.
With the signings of Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier from Portland, the Nets add toughness as well as rebounding, defense and athleticism in Davis, while Napier brings quickness, playmaking ability and a shooting touch in a thinning backcourt.
Regarding Napier in particular, Marks says his addition addresses the lack of depth at point guard brought on the trades of Jeremy Lin and Isaiah Whitehead. It looks like Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell will start but Napier is likely to get a lot of time on the court.
“He’s coming off a really good year. Played extremely well. You can see what happened in the past where having depth at that position is something that we need. At any time where you’re able to add talent and add talent through depth as well, that’s something that will help us long-term,” he said.
And Marks remembers what happened the last two seasons at the point with starters going down early and in the case of Lin and Greivis Vasquez not returning.
Kenneth Faried, perhaps the most intriguing of the new blood, arrives with Darrell Arthur (and draft picks) from Denver. A Newark, New Jersey native, the Manimal will join Davis in providing extensive help for a frontcourt who was destroyed by … you know the rest.
“I think he fits with that Brooklyn grit that we talk about in terms of how he plays,” Marks said of Faried. “He plays with high intensity, obviously at a fast pace. His game will transition well to Brooklyn and what Kenny’s wanting to do here. He brings some of the intangibles that you mentioned before, which is just that interior presence, the physicality and so forth.
“We have Ed Davis; another one we’ve just signed. Having those two here will certainly help with that.”
Marks of course also spoke about he’s transformed the Nets draft picture, adding the Nuggets first (protected 1-12) in 2019 as well as two seconds in 2020, Denver’s second which is unprotected and Portland’s second in 2020 (protected 31-55)
“it just gives us more tools in the toolbox,” he said.