Nets rumors: Brooklyn nearly hired Bryan Colangelo as general manager
To begin the decade, there was a major buzz surrounding the Brooklyn Nets with new ownership and acquiring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics. However, in order to acquire the two aging All-Stars, the Nets gave up numerous assets and were never true championship contenders.
For the past two seasons, the Nets have been forced to rebuild as they have lost two lottery picks (Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum) to the Celtics. With little to no assets, Brooklyn needed to find a new general manager who could make the best out of the league’s worst situation. According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, they nearly hired Bryan Colangelo over Sean Marks:
As the league descended upon Toronto for All-Star Weekend in February 2016, the Nets were leaning toward hiring Bryan Colangelo over Marks, according to sources familiar with the process.
During All-Star Saturday night, (Dmitry Razumov, Nets’ chairman and the stateside face of owner Mikhail Prokhorov) and Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, then Marks’ boss, had a long talk in the chairman’s suite inside the Air Canada Centre, according to several sources. Buford’s message was clear: The Spurs might not grant their assistant GM permission to take the job unless he would get to do it his way. Several other executives, including Bob Myers, the Warriors’ GM, also praised Marks in chats with Razumov that weekend, sources say.
While Colangelo is now with the Philadelphia 76ers, it could have been a very different type of rebuilding for the Nets:
Other candidates might have proceeded differently: sell free agents on the glitz of a big city, and build competitive teams that would bridge the gap until the Nets had their picks back.
For the Nets, they made the right decision by hiring Marks as their general manager. In his short time with the franchise, Marks has acquired prospects and draft picks but at the cost of adding long-term deals like Timofey Mozgov and DeMarre Carroll.
Instead of trying to pursue superstars who would likely never sign considering the circumstances, the Nets are slowly rebuilding and developing their young prospects with the help of head coach Kenny Atkinson.