Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is the lone survivor from the Billy King era. He’s entering his fourth year in the league and has taken a veteran leadership role at 23-years-old. But he’s never seen more than 28 wins in his short career and that came last year.
It’s easy to understand why he would welcome superstar Jimmy Butler with open arms. He’s a good guy who wants to win. It’s in his DNA, Hollis-Jefferson believes. But there’s also been a lot about how he doesn’t get along with young players, has coach issues.
“If he [Jimmy Butler] comes, we’d love to have him. If not, we’ll just keep working and doing what we do best,” Hollis-Jefferson said of the Butler at Media Day.
It was his second comment on the possibility of Butler joining Brooklyn.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson comments on Jimmy Butler’s picture “come on home” pic.twitter.com/DetlxacnyV— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) September 19, 2018
Reports surfaced last week that the Brooklyn Nets were on a short list of preferred destinations for Butler. The current status is unknown, and the Nets might be hesitant to deal assets for a player that’s going to be a free agent next summer.
As we’ve learned, Sean Marks is a silent assassin when it comes to trades. Things don’t leak and oftentimes it involves the players you least expect.
Hollis-Jefferson was asked about his recruiting via Instagram, and how it might feel to be one of the players to be included in the trade. The 23-year-old had literally just answered a question about how much he loves living in Brooklyn. He gathered himself and answered diplomatically.
“At the end of the day, you got to know it’s a business. You got to know decisions have to be made for the benefit of the organization. I know me and how I am as a player and as a person, I really feel comfortable being put in any situation that I’ll thrive because I work hard.”
Then, came the question of continuity. On more that one occasion, Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson have discussed how much they value continuity in the context of team culture.
Hollis-Jefferson threw out the rumors about Butler’s past and explained his philosophy on how people —”humans”— must find a way to get along, particularly on a team like the Nets where everybody is very close.
“That kind of throws me off a little because Jimmy’s human. We know he’s really talented and does a lot of things well,” said Hollis-Jefferson.
“But you know at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all connect in some way. So, we find out who he is and how he is as a person and we’ll make the best of it. We’re all down to earth, fun, we all like to laugh, we all like to feel good, so I’m sure things would work out.”
That’s a big part of Brooklyn’s identity. This unit is down to earth and fun, so there would be questions about whether a player like Jimmy Butler might plague that.
It’s a question the Nets may or may not have to answer in the next few days.