Nets Notes: Offseason Approach, Simmons, Bridges, Johnson, Draft Picks

Nets general manager Sean Marks says the changes he’ll make this offseason will be designed to make the roster bigger and meaner, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The team ranked among the league’s worst in overall rebound percentage and defensive rebounding percentage.

“Without a doubt we need to make some changes in terms of adding some size. I think (coach Jacque Vaughn) said it (Saturday) night, add a little nastiness,” Marks said. “Without a doubt we need to make some changes. Add a little bit of the Brooklyn grit that we’ve talked about for sort of six years.”

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  • In the same Lewis story, Marks remarked that he anticipates Ben Simmons to be 100 percent physically “probably by September 1st.” Marks has stated he doesn’t believe Simmons will require another back surgery. Marks also expressed confidence that Mikal Bridges can be the No. 1 scoring option going forward. “Regarding Mikal, I think he’s proven to a lot of people that his role can continue to get better and better and bigger and bigger, so I think I would be pretty silly to be up here and limit him and say he cannot be something,” Marks said. “I think that a few people have had their eyes opened to what he can do.”
  • Re-signing restricted free agent Cameron Johnson is a high priority for Marks, Lewis writes in a separate story. Johnson, who was acquired in the Kevin Durant blockbuster, is not only a crucial piece on the court but a popular locker room presence. “Everybody sees what he delivers on the court, but when you see him in the locker room, it’s certainly refreshing to be around, and hopefully he’s here,” Marks said. “But he’s going to have decisions to make, so at the right time, we will certainly be having those discussions with him and his agent, and we hope that Cam will be back. He’s a big priority for us, there’s no question.”
  • Thanks to dealing their superstars, the Nets have plenty of draft capital. Will they use it to pursue another star like Damian Lillard in a blockbuster deal? Perhaps, but Marks isn’t committed to that approach, Lewis writes. “That could happen, but at the same time, I don’t think we’re in any hurry. We’re not going to be pushed to make changes just for the sake of making changes.”
  • Speaking of those draft picks, the Nets own the 21st and 22nd selections in the first round this June but some of the future first-rounders they acquired could eventually land higher. That potential scenario entices Marks, Alex Schiffer of The Athletic notes. “That’s one of the exciting things for us going forward, knowing that there’s only three other teams in the league that have more first-round picks than us from now until 2030.” he said. “So, that’s part of the pathway, right? This group has shown an ability to to draft well, and the coaches have shown an ability to really develop players well. So for me, looking forward to that is exciting.”
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