The Nets are currently in the playoffs, even if by the thinnest of margins, and won’t back down. But supposed the basketball gods deign that they fall into the lottery. Would that setback hurt them in July when free agents make their decisions?
Brian Lewis asked a number of people that question and the consensus was clear: the Nets have proven themselves already. They’ll be fine.
“I don’t think so,” Ed Davis when asked if a failed playoff push would affect their attractiveness. “We’ve competed and won enough games this year that they know that all we need is another All-Star, another dynamic player to take the franchise over the top. I think that’s what those top-tier free agents that’s what goes through their minds. That’s how they think.”
[General manager Sean] Marks just has to do his job now,” Davis said with a smile. “That’s why they pay him all the big bucks.”
Davis, of course, is a veteran of free agency. His teammate, Caris LeVert, agrees.
“You see a guy like LeBron [James] go to a team like the Lakers. They didn’t make the playoffs last year so I don’t necessarily think it’s a playoff thing,” LeVert said. “They see the talent here. Living situation honestly is a big thing. Los Angeles, New York, those are really popular destinations to live in, so I think a lot of things play a roll, not just the playoffs.”
Bobby Marks, who of course was assistant GM under Rod Thorn and Billy King, thinks the Nets are in a good place.
“I don’t think Brooklyn missing or making the playoffs will tilt the needle when it comes to free agency,” Bobby Marks told The Post. “The body of work this season of the current roster, having an All-Star in [D’Angelo Russell] is a great selling point.”
Developing DLo is a selling point, everyone Lewis spoke with agreed.
“[Russell’s] played at an All-Star level,” LeVert said. “Everybody wants to play with a great point guard, a great floor general, and he’s put himself in that conversation for sure. That lessens the load for a guy like Kevin Durant or another superstar who wants to come play with us. … That’s very attractive that D’Angelo has elevated himself to that level to play with.”
The Nets, of course, must re-sign DLo but that seems increasingly likely. As for who the Nets might go after, that’s a closely guarded secret ... despite the rumors.
- Real mark of Nets’ success is becoming a free agent destination - Brian Lewis - New York Post