Last summer, the Brooklyn Nets signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to four-year, max-level contracts. Durant has missed the entire 2019-20 season as he rehabs from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the 2019 NBA playoffs. Meanwhile, Irving has been limited to 20 games this season due to a handful of injuries.
As the NBA gears up for the resumption of the 2019-20 regular season, Nets general manager Sean Marks feels it’s important to take into account the long game with Durant and Irving regarding them playing this seasonÂ (quotes by means of Brian Lewis of the New York Post).
â€œ[Irving] is doing well. But like Kevin, you have to look at the risk-reward. When you have a lot of money and your future tied to a couple guys â€” the whole team, but these two guys are an integral part of it â€” they havenâ€™t had the appropriate buildup,â€ Marks said Friday on WFAN. â€œThe last thing you want to do is put these guys out there when they havenâ€™t had the appropriate workload and buildup.â€
The Nets parted ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson in March, subsequently promoting Jacque Vaughn to interim head coach. Vaughn coached two games prior to the NBA season being suspended.
Marks feels that Durant and Irving should have some input on the team’s head-coaching future.
â€œIt would not be smart of us if we were not to involve some of these key players in this decision,â€ Marks said. â€œKevin, Kyrie, weâ€™re going to pick their brains on what theyâ€™re looking for in a leader, what they need. Theyâ€™ve been brutally honest so far.”
Marks makes it clear that the two stars want to win a championship with the Nets.
â€œIâ€™m not going to be asking Kevin to come down to Orlando to evaluate anybody. When you get to the level of those elite players, they have ultimate goals in mind. They want to be held accountable. Kevin and Kyrie have told me they want to win a championship in Brooklyn.â€