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Slowly But Surely: Sean Marks improves at the edges: A recap of Nets Draft Night

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Death, taxes, and the Brooklyn Nets dealing their own first-round pick. It’s a timeless recipe.

Yep, you’re reading this correctly: To the chagrin of the scholarly Brooklyn fans who stayed up into the wee hours of the night working on their own personal scouting reports, Sean Marks has done it again. After eight months of anticipation, and feverish dreams aplenty of Desmond Bane and Saddiq Bey donning those new crispy throwback blues, the Nets moved in silence like the “g” in lasagna, scooping up off-ball sniper Landry Shamet via a three-team that routed pick #19––which, in cruel irony, became the aforementioned Saddiq Bey––to the Detroit Pistons and Luke Kennard to the LA Clippers.

To some Nets fans, many a “hurrah!” was had once the news broke that Landry Shamet was headed to Biggie’s borough. To others, he’s a bit of a mystery. So allow us to provide a bit of an introduction, enhanced by some trusty film.


What Shamet profiles as is a floor spacer; he’s one of the better off-the-bench shooters in the league, who shot a combined 40.2% over the course of his two-year career. As an example of what young Landry can do, the clip below shows the spry 23-year-old curling around a weak-side stagger screen to nail a spinning three off the “hop.” He’s excellent as a movement shooter, with a motor that purrs and purrs and purrs, and top-notch balance on the tips of his toes while readying his three-point shot––all of which could be a big benefit in Steve Nash’s system that promises to be stuffed full with humming activity.

Outside of shooting the rock with 38.3% efficiency off the catch, he also boasts a tiny sliver of playmaking when empowered with the ball in his hands. While 69 total possessions is by no means a reasonable sample to extrapolate from, 54th percentile efficiency as pick-and-roll ball-handler could be something to build from. In the bubble, his vision was especially impressive, and here, he splits the Rodions Kurucs and Chris Chiozza double-team with a sense of coolness before rifling a pass to Terrence Mann in the corner.

Shamet’s a better defender than most give him credit for; with strong attentiveness and great effort, he makes up for his rather meager wingspan (6’7”) by staying attached to his man around screens and covering up for his teammates should they make mental errors. Here, he fills the gap nicely, sinking into the lane before springing into action to bat away an errant pass from Charlotte’s Dewayne Bacon to kick start a fast-break possession. He’s just a smart player––on both ends of the floor.

Shamet’s shooting prowess will fit in nicely next to defensive specialist Bruce Brown, who of course was recently acquired from the Detroit Pistons for the services of Dzanan Musa and a 2021 second-round pick. It should be noted that both of Brooklyn’s latest acquisitions are 24-or-under (in Shamet’s case), potentially building a slight bridge beyond the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving era. In the meantime, both players can contribute immediately by filling the gaps that are left around the edges from a team that boasts two superstar players.

Of course, Sean Marks’ night didn’t end by just landing the former Wichita State sniper. With the clock striking midnight, Brooklyn’s braintrust traded back two spots from pick #55 to pick #57 to select Reggie Perry from Mississippi State.

Perry, a 6’10” sophomore who cruised to 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds in the SEC, projects as a tough-as-nails forward who can create windows of space in the post and gobble up rebounds that drop anywhere within his general vicinity. His offensive outbursts helped him become a pretty decorated player in his two-year college career, culminating to a selection as the 2019-2020 SEC Co-Player of the Year, while finishing as a 2019-2020 Karl Malone Award finalist as one of the nation’s best power forwards. He was also MVP of last year’s gold medal-winning FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.

On the other end of the floor, he’s far from shabby; he allowed 0.84 points per possession when defending against isolations, per Synergy, utilizing those basketball smarts that tend to come from hoops lineage (his father, Al, also played at Mississippi State).

Though it wasn’t the night that most fans expected, Marks deserves kudos for bringing in additional winning players. Brooklyn bolstered its rotation with a player who can contribute when it matters in Landry Shamet, while also taking a flyer on a decorated college player like Reggie Perry that knows his strengths and weaknesses. Moves around the fringes are happening real-time, and the Brooklyn Nets continue to improve, slowly but surely.

Let’s see if they’re done wheeling and dealing.