Brooklyn Nets Optimistic About Their Future Following First Round Exit
Following a successful season where the Brooklyn Nets basically came out of nowhere to finish 42-40 and clinch their first postseason berth since 2014-15, the future looks bright and the Nets are excited about their future.
After years of slow, meticulous building, the Nets are ready to swing for the fences and take the next step, though with a cautious approach. “ That’s the challenge,” said GM Sean Marks. “I’m not sure there’s pressure to act frivolously or out of the norm. This is something that if the right player is available, obviously like any other team we’ll target those guys. We’ll see how this builds out.”
“It’s not about fast-forwarding or skipping steps. There’s a lot of people that played major roles in getting the team to where it is now: the team, the organization, the identity. For us to even have these conversations, that’s exciting. “
Marks also commended coach Kenny Atkinson and his staff for “having the team play at a high level, and competing like they’re never out of games.”
Marks is confident that the team’s new-found identity and success this season will attract free agents. “People are going to want to play here, play for Kenny, play in Brooklyn. I think we have a lot going for us.”
The most immediate concern, however, likely won’t be the free agent market, but likely what to do with D’Angelo Russell, who will be a restricted free agent. Russell, fresh off of a breakout campaign where he earned his first All-Star berth, has made it clear that he wants to remain in Brooklyn, however if another team offers him the max, for example, it will be interesting to see if the Nets match the offer.
“D’Angelo is obviously one of our more talented players. We as a franchise and D’Angelo are both going to have to make decisions. That is the nature of the business. But at the end of the day, our job is to continue to put talent on the floor for Brooklyn,” concluded Marks.
Indeed, for all of the great work Brooklyn did this season, they’ve now reached an important stage. Is Russell worth the max? Do you pursue other free agents this summer? These are important decisions the franchise is going to have to make.