The Brooklyn Nets enter this year’s NBA Draft with only one pick in their arsenal, the 55th pick on the board. That, however, can change, with one or two phone calls.
What won’t change that quickly, however, is Brooklyn’s goal of transforming themselves into a winning NBA Franchise.
New Nets general manager Sean Marks has been entrusted with the responsibility of turning around the hopes of a losing team and changing its culture for the better.
One successful draft night won’t be enough to accomplish that goal. It is only just a part of a long-term plan, in which the Nets must show extreme patience.
Marks represents the fresh approach the Nets were in need of. Coming over from the San Antonio Spurs, the Marks hiring has drawn praise from outsiders looking in. The Spurs, led by president and head coach Gregg Popovich, have an established winning culture which has produced five NBA Championships. The Nets will be banking on Marks to bring as many elements of that culture, as humanly possible, to Brooklyn.
Brooklyn’s upcoming draft night on Thursday, the first with Marks in charge, could be a long wait before fans find out who’ll they’ll be selecting. The Nets, barring a blockbuster last-minute trade, won’t be in the mix for any of the projected lottery picks. This means Marks, along with his staff, will have to be strategic in their approach.
Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young have been identified, by Marks, as key pieces to Brooklyn’s rebuild. It remains to be seen, through a potential draft-day trade or as building blocks for the team’s core, where exactly those pieces fit. Moving Lopez or Young off the current roster could be an option for the Nets to consider using in order to move into the first round.
If the Nets choose to stay put, there is a handful of potential options to choose from in the second round. Isaiah Whitehead, out of Seton Hall, is the one name that stands out as a potential choice. Whitehead’s a point guard, out of Brooklyn, NY, who led the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament this past season. If the Nets manage to be in a position to take Whitehead off the board, it’ll be a move which should be received favorably by the Barclays Center crowd at the Draft.
The Nets will watch the Boston Celtics decide what to do with what was their first round pick, when their turn comes at number three on the board. It’s been well documented, by now, how the Celtics ended up with Brooklyn’s 2016 first rounder.
The old regime of the Nets aggressively went after a championship by using an abundance of draft picks to help bring in aging veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, from Boston, in a blockbuster trade. The deal hamstrung Brooklyn’s flexibility for the future, and it also failed to deliver a championship team.
The practice of old ways which prove to be consistently unsuccessful can only lead to more of the same problems. Marks and Kenny Atkinson, the team’s new head coach, will be tasked with the responsibility of making sure the Nets do not repeat past mistakes while in a hurry to speed up the future.
The reality of the situation, for the Nets, is that change will take time and they’ll need plenty of patience for the process.