Nets team owner Mikhail Prokhorov indicated that he intends to exercise greater patience than in the past as the franchise attempts to rebuild itself under GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com relays. “We’re all on the same page,” Marks told the media during Atkinson’s introductory press conference on Monday. “In talking to Mr. Prokhorov — he sat in, and he was right there interviewing Kenny with me — he made it well clear that things were going to be done a little differently. He’s given us the reins to build this thing our way, and if it takes some time, it does. But we’ll be doing everything we can to turn this thing around quickly.”
Atkinson acknowledged that Brooklyn’s high coaching turnover rate under Prokhorov gave him pause, but trust in Marks helped him overcome his initial reticence regarding the post, Youngmisuk notes. “I think it gives you pause because you look at the past,” Atkinson said on becoming the Nets’ sixth coach since 2012. “But that’s why you meet with ownership, and that’s why my relationship with Sean was important, because he had an intimate conversation, and when I came up here to interview with them, that was part of my question. I was more than satisfied with the answers. We’re going to build something sustainable. We’re going to build something for the long term, so that excited me and convinced me.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- If the Sixers snag to No. 1 overall pick as well as the No. 2 or No.4 overall one, look for the team to target a playmaker and an outside shooter, Chad Ford of ESPN.com tweets. The scribe mentions the combination of Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray or Brandon Ingram and Kris Dunn as potential pairings.
- The Celtics announced via press release that center Kelly Olynyk underwent successful surgery to repair damage to his right shoulder. He will begin a rehabilitation program immediately, according to the team, but no timetable was given for Olynyk’s return to action. The 25-year-old still has one year and $3,094,013 remaining on his current contract.
- The Nets worked out former Michigan State center Matt Costello today, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv relays (via Twitter). Costello is a potential late second-rounder, with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranking him as the No. 71 overall senior.
- Former Toledo power forward Nathan Boothe has workouts scheduled this week with the Nets and the Pistons, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter). Boothe is the No. 46 overall senior, per Givony’s rankings.