sources – The Denver Post


Nets general manager Sean Marks has signed a contract extension that keeps him in Brooklyn spearheading roster decisions for the foreseeable future, the Daily News has learned. Marks’ extension, which was signed near the beginning of July per sources, comes as the Nets maneuver the most important offseason in franchise history.

Franchise cornerstone Kevin Durant has requested a trade with four years worth $198 million remaining on his contract, and superstar guard Kyrie Irving has opted into the final year of his contract worth $37 million. But the Nets have not been willing to sign him to a long-term, fully-guaranteed deal because of the decisions Irving made that rendered him ineligible (or unavailable) to play much of last season.

Durant’s trade request came prior to Marks’ extension, per the source. Marks’ front office staff also negotiated new deals.

The extension makes sense from a scouting standpoint: Marks and his staff, including assistant GM Jeff Peterson, have been adept at identifying talent, particularly through the draft. This summer, the front office has shown its ability to put together a complete team: The Nets signed talented scorer T.J. Warren on a veteran’s minimum deal, acquired 3-and-D wing Royce O’Neale for a 2023 first-round pick in a trade with the Utah Jazz, re-signed Nic Claxton and Patty Mills on two-year contracts and took a flier on Edmond Sumner, a high-flying wing who has recovered from an Achilles injury. Brooklyn still has its taxpayer’s mid-level exception, which it can use to sign one or two more impact players.

On Marks’ watch, however, the Nets built one of the most talented teams in NBA history, only for it to crumble one season later. After Marks proclaimed Durant, Irving and James Harden would be “signed, sealed and delivered” as Nets for years to come, Harden has already departed via trade to Philly, Durant has requested a trade and Irving’s status with the team remains uncertain. Former Net and fan favorite Bruce Brown also said on Instagram Live that Brooklyn never offered him a contract extension despite him coming off a career year. Brown went on to sign a two-year deal worth $13 million with the Denver Nuggets, reuniting with former Net Jeff Green, who the Nets did not have the cap space to retain with a larger offer than Denver.

Under Marks, the Nets sacrificed the majority of their draft assets in the initial Harden deal, then moved Harden for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks. Simmons (mental health/back injury) never played a game or practiced five-on-five in Brooklyn and underwent back surgery at the end of the season. Drummond left Brooklyn and signed a deal with the Chicago Bulls, Curry remains under contract for another year, and Marks sent the first of those Philly first-round picks to Utah in the deal for O’Neale.

Marks has amassed a 217-255 regular-season record in his tenure as Nets GM and is responsible for the complete overhaul of what used to be a league-worst NBA franchise. Since taking the reins as GM in 2016, Marks’ Nets picked up a reputation as one of the premier development hubs in all of basketball with receipts in the form of D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, who have each gone on to play important roles on other teams around the league. Marks traded Allen as part of the Harden deal and traded Dinwiddie to the Wizards for a trade exception. Allen went on to sign a five-year, $100 million deal in Cleveland and Dinwiddie was subsequently traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he has thrived in a role supporting Luka Doncic.

Several of the Nets’ development coaches have also left the organization, including player-favorite assistant coach Adam Harrington, and former assistant coach Ime Udoka left Brooklyn to take the Boston Celtics head coaching job, only to sweep the Nets out of the first round. Marks is also responsible for hiring Steve Nash as head coach of a team competing for a championship despite Nash having no formal experience as an assistant.

If the Nets are able to find a trade for both Durant and Irving, it will be on Marks to build a playoff contender around Simmons, provided Simmons is still on the roster. The Nets are reportedly part of the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes, and the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prevents the Nets from acquiring Mitchell in a trade if Simmons is on the roster.

Marks has a track record of identifying and developing talent, and if deals for Durant and Irving are consummated, he will oversee a treasure trove of draft assets and young players the franchise must develop into winning pieces in the aftermath of the disaster that has been the Seven-Eleven Era. Then again, it was Marks’ decision to trade-in the young nucleus he developed into the very stars he might lose this summer.



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