New York Notes: Nets, Tsai, Brunson, Knicks, Randle

The Nets have formally announced Jordi Fernandez‘s coaching staff for the 2024/25 season, officially confirming (via Twitter) that previously reported names like Steve Hetzel, Juwan Howard, and Jay Hernandez will be among the assistants flanking the first-time head coach.

Hernandez is a carryover from last season’s staff, as are Adam Caporn, Ryan Forehan-Kelly, Corey Vinson, and Travis Bader. Besides Hetzel and Howard, the newcomers include Deividas Dulkys and Connor Griffin, whose hirings were also previously reported.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams, starting with Brooklyn:

  • The Nets don’t publicly share the names of the prospects they’re working out during the pre-draft process, but as NetsDaily relays, a few names are being reported. For instance, Rick Pitino tweeted earlier this month that St. John’s guard Daniss Jenkins “killed” his workout with Brooklyn, while Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Thursday (via Twitter) that the Nets are among the teams that have worked out Adelaide 36ers wing Trentyn Flowers, who has also gotten a look from the Wizards, Bucks, Kings, Rockets, and Spurs, and has workouts on tap with the Lakers, Suns, Hornets, Jazz, Bulls, and Celtics.
  • While New York City has a history of bombastic sports team owners, Joe Tsai of the Nets has made it clear he doesn’t intend to be one of them, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “My first principle is don’t treat yourself too seriously. Don’t become the face of the franchise, because it’s not about you,” Tsai said recently. “Fans don’t care about you: They care about the players. They care about the star players. … You work for the fans. So you have to come in with that mindset, especially when you own a major sports team in a major city. It’s an institution. It’s not about you. It’s something that’s much much bigger than you and I feel like I’m a custodian of the team.”
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Post (subscription required) takes a closer look at Jalen Brunson‘s contract situation, writing that while the Knicks’ point guard may ultimately be willing to sign an extension this offseason, he’d likely be in better position to maximize his long-term earnings if he waits until 2025.
  • Fred Katz and Seth Partnow of The Athletic recently discussed the Knicks‘ offseason. According to Partnow, various analytics models had Isaiah Hartenstein‘s 2023/24 season valued in the range of $28-35MM. The 26-year-old center made $9.25MM this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. New York only holds his Early Bird rights, which means it will be somewhat limited (four years, $72.5MM) in what it can offer him. A recent report said people around the league think Hartenstein could receive $20-25MM annually on his next deal, and potentially losing him would certainly dampen Partnow’s view of the Knicks. Katz and Partnow also discuss the pros and cons of Julius Randle and ways in which the Knicks can improve next season, among other topics.
  • Speaking of Randle, the injured All-Star forward said he’s recovering well from shoulder surgery, though he still isn’t doing on-court work yet, per Bondy of The New York Post. One of New York’s main offseason questions is what to do with Randle, who is eligible for a lucrative extension this summer. For his part, the 29-year-old said he wants to stay long-term. “Yeah, I’ve always said from the very beginning I would love to be here in New York and I would love to continue to add on to what the guys did in the playoffs,” said Randle, who can also become a free agent in 2025. “I feel like that was my personal — biggest personal goal, or I’d say team goal in a sense, was when I got here is to be able to build and compete and to be at the point where we’re at now, where it’s an actual possibility (to win a championship). So really, that’s what my focus is, doing whatever I can to make sure I get healthy and get back and make sure I’m ready whenever we start playing again and contribute to winning. That’s really all my focus is and that stuff always in my career has taken care of itself.”

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

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