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Sean Marks on signing Joe Harris: ‘Priority number one’

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Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

In a 10-minute sitdown interview that will aired on the YES Network’s Nets pre-game show Thursday, Michael Grady asked Sean Marks about the Nets’ free agency plans, specifically Joe Harris.

Grady: “Is signing Joe a priority this off-season?”

Marks: “Priority number one. It’s that simple, yeah. Joe, I think we’ve talked about plenty of times. We’re obviously very proud of where Joe has come from. And where he is today. And he still continues to get better. (He) Still wants to work on his craft. So, yeah, signing him and seeing him with this group will certainly be a priority for us.”

The interview took place Wednesday. Post-game, Harris reacted this way...

“I didn’t even know that he said that, but I mean to be honest I’m not really thinking that much about the offseason. Obviously we focused on Portland, and then my mind is really just trying to continue to play good basketball and put ourselves in a position to compete and win some games against Toronto.”

Harris, the 6’6” swingman who was among Marks first signings in 2016, will be an unrestricted free agent come the off-season which begins October 18. While the Nets are over the cap, they hold Harris’ “Bird Rights,” meaning they can go over the cap to sign him or match any another team’s offer.

Of course that will mean owner Joe Tsai will have to pay the luxury tax and every dollar he pays Harris over a certain number will result in a dollar of tax. Tsai has said he’s willing to pay the tax for a championship contender.

Harris is coming off a two-year, $16 million deal and with his game expanding and improving, he’s likely to command between $12 million and $15 million a year, pundits have suggested. And he’s likely to command a longer deal as well.

Bobby Marks of ESPN is one of those pundits. He notes that without Harris, the Nets will have little opportunity to improve...

Back in February, Harris left no doubt that he wanted to stay a Net.

“Definitely! Why wouldn’t you?” Harris said then. “Obviously those are guys who I’ve gotten close with now that I’ve been with them this past year. They’re obviously incredible players. You see what they’re able to do when they are healthy and playing. I don’t think there’s anybody in the NBA who wouldn’t want to play with those guys.”

Marks also offered praise for his other two “finds” — Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen. In Allen’s case, Marks said he’s had “candid conversations” with the Nets big man about his potential adding that that he’s on a good “trajectory” but that he also may not know how good he can be.