“I’m excited for the challenge of building this team into a consistent winner and assembling the pieces to compete at a very high level,” Weaver said in a statement announcing the hiring.
Weaver beat out a couple of other rising young executives including Jeff Peterson, one of the Nets two assistant GMs. Now, Weaver will be tasked to hire an assistant GM and the Nets director of player personnel, J.R. Holden, is reportedly a candidate for that job.
Is this a good or bad thing? Weaver, 31, was seen as a rising star in the NBA executive ranks when the Nets hired him a year ago, along with Andy Birdsong, formerly of the Spurs, to fill a vacancy left by Trajan Langdon. Langdon departed Brooklyn for New Orleans where he’s GM under David Griffin, the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations.
Poaching, of course, goes on all the time. Four years ago, the Nets poached Sean Marks from the Spurs. He was being groomed as a possible replacement for either Gregg Popovich or R.C. Buford, the Spurs CEO.
As Alex Schiffer of The Athletic wrote in his mail bag Thursday, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Nor is it a bad thing.
An old boss of mine told me, “If my employees keep getting poached, I just look at it that I’m really good at hiring people.” I think you can make the same argument with the Nets. As long as Marks is still there, what’s the harm in bringing in new people with different ideas? Also, a lot of these guys are too ambitious to stay in the same place forever.
And as Schiffer notes, the Nets front office is very young by NBA standards. It’s a good place to learn the trade.
Marks is only 44 and has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Would you really want to stay as the No. 2 for a number of years when you can go lead your own organization sooner? I wouldn’t, but that’s just me. I understand the reasoning, but I think if you’re the Nets, poaching is just a form of flattery. It only helps Marks’ sales job when he’s trying to add to his staff. Why change it?
And just as Marks didn’t want to wait in San Antonio, the Nets young execs are likely feeling the same way.
There is indeed a lot of young talent in the Nets front office. Among the (barely) 30-somethings along with Peterson and Birdsong are Matt Riccardi, Director of Scouting and Long Island GM; Matt Tellem, Director of Strategic Planning and Assistant GM in Long Island; Ryan Gisriel, Director Of Basketball Operations; and Logan McPhail, Director of Coaching Analytics; and Andrew Baker, Director of Contract Management. (Of the group, only Peterson, is a minority.)
Now will they be the poachers as well as the poachees in the coming months? Brooklyn has one big job open, the head coach. The most discussed candidates, other than incumbent Jacque Vaughn, work for the Lakers (Tyronn Lue and Phil Handy) and the Warriors (Mike Brown), Poaching from TNT doesn’t count.