Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks built the most dynamic Big 3 in NBA history and arguably in any team sport, and then he saw it crumble in his own hands without a championship to show.
That, in itself, is a solid reason to get fired.
But Marks is reportedly not going anywhere.
A New York Post report on Wednesday claimed that Marks is expected to stay and oversee the Nets’ rebuilding from the rubbles of their Big 3 era.
The dismantling of Brooklyn’s Big 3 was lambasted in some quarters as the NBA’s worst failure in decades and had some speculating that Marks could end up being ousted.
But with the Nets on a three-game winning streak, a highly placed league source told The Post that “ownership has full confidence in that front office to build for the future.”
Neither Marks nor Nets team owner Joe Tsai had any comment, but multiple sources confirmed the New Zealand-born executive’s expected return. Another source has described Marks and Tsai as having been “in lockstep.”Brian Lewis via New York Post
Marks is back to where he started seven seasons ago when he took on the challenge to build the Nets back up from the rubble of another failed superteam experiment led by over-the-hills Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Coming from the San Antonio Spurs, a model of stability and culture in the league, Marks successfully made the Nets attractive to superstars with their smart drafting and strong player development, which produced Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving shunned the New York Knicks and instead signed with them. James Harden followed via a blockbuster trade using LeVert, Allen, and Dinwiddie as trade pieces.
Harden didn’t last long, exacerbated by Kyrie Irving’s unavailability due to his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine. He forced his way to Philadelphia for an underwhelming package led by disgruntled Ben Simmons, who’s been a big disappointment in Brooklyn.
Durant sought a trade last summer and demanded the firing of Marks and erstwhile coach Steve Nash while Irving’s contract extension reached a stalemate. Both returned, and for a while, it looked promising — winning 11 straight games, and 18 of 20 — after a rocky start that led to Nash’s ouster.
It didn’t last long.
Durant fell to another MCL injury.
Irving asked for a trade after his contract extension demands were not met. Durant quietly followed suit.
By the trade deadline, the Nets went from a title contender into a fringe playoff team in a blink of an eye.
But unlike when he started, Marks has more at his disposal to initiate a faster rebuild.
On top of acquiring rising star Mikal Bridges, he also recouped the draft capital they parted with in the Harden trade, with a total of 11 first-round and eight second-round picks over the next seven drafts.
In Nets owner Joe Tsai’s eyes, Marks is still the best man to clean up the mess deemed to be a clean sweep in the summer of 2019.
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