Sean Marks Zoom call with the media, at 11:30 am Thursday, will be among the most momentous of his near five-year tenure as Nets GM ... as fans who applaud the Nets for their willingness to take on big risks as well as those who remain skeptical of the organization’s breakup of their favorite team try to sort things out.
And everyone wonders what’s next.
In announcing the trade Thursday morning, Marks said...
“Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league’s best,” said General Manager Sean Marks. “James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn.
“While we are excited to welcome James and his family to the Nets, we also want to thank the players who are departing. Caris, Jarrett, Rodions and Taurean were instrumental to the team’s success and have made an enormous impact on our organization. It has been a pleasure watching them grow both as players and as people and they will always be part of our Nets family. We wish each of them and their families all the best in the future.”
So here’s a few questions we thought might be of interest to Brooklyn fandom as they ponder the Nets mega-trade for James Harden.
—Does this trade mean you didn’t think you could win without a third star, that the addition of James Harden was the only route to the NBA’s promised land?
—Back in November, you were asked if you would “mortgage” the team’s future. In response, you said, “When you say mortgage, probably no,” And when you were asked about breaking up the roster, you responded, “ I don’t see us changing five or six guys on the roster.” Yet, you traded eight draft picks or swaps and sent four players packing. So what changed between then and now?
—Are you done? Will you apply for the Disabled Player Exception? Use the taxpayers MLE? Or simply will you sign some stopgap players to fill the three roster spots?
—Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden have some of the highest usage rates in NBA history. They will have to sacrifice to win at the highest level? How do you get these three high-scoring players to put aside their individual aspirations and be ready, on a nightly basis, to do what’s needed to win?
—Is it fair to say that two of your Big Three have been high maintenance this year, indeed this week!?! Harden’s exit from Houston was ugly. He disrespected his teammates going out the door. His visits to strip clubs and disdain for health and safety protocols showed what many believe was outright disrespect not just for his team but for the league ... and there are reports that he is out of shape. Meanwhile, Irving has been “personal leave” and been seen partying and attending a virtual political event while his team was playing crucial games. Both players have been fined by the league. Can you tame these personalities? Do you need to if you want to retain the team culture?
—Steve Nash is a rookie coach who admits he is still learning the job. Is adding another superstar, another big personality putting undue pressure on him? What adaptations do you expect him to make with Harden’s arrival ... and the departure of three rotational players, all of whom were playing well within his system?
—Joe Tsai appears to be on board for whatever basketball operations needs to succeed, despite the costs — and some financial setbacks he’s experienced in recent weeks. Is that a fair statement?
—The Rockets offered Harden a two-year, $100 million contract, according to reports. Will the Nets do the same when the time comes and do you think you’ll be able to extend Durant and Irving down the road?
—A number of fans and pundits have compared this move to the 2013 trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett which set the franchise for half a decade. What do you say to them?
Of course, all of these questions will be answered not just during a press conference in early January. They will be answered over and over and over again every time the team takes the court, hopefully deep into the summer. You know, time will tell.
No word on whether the Nets will stream any Q-and-A.