Sean Marks

Eastern Notes: Rivers, Knicks, Nets, Murphy

Now that the Sixers have been eliminated by the Celtics, is Doc Rivers a goner? Marc Stein wrote in his latest Substack article prior to Game 7 on Sunday that there have been recent murmurs Rivers’ status could become precarious if the team failed to close out the series. It wouldn’t be surprising, considering that proven coaches like Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams have recently been dismissed due to postseason disappointments.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • With a wealth of extra draft picks and some solid young players, the Knicks could be in line for the next star who demands a trade, Eric Pincus writes for Bleacher Report. The salaries of Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier could help facilitate a deal, along with potential younger trade pieces such as Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin.
  • After getting burned by trying to build around superstars, the Nets will be looking to build around players who want to stay with the franchise, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. GM Sean Marks will have a busy offseason but the thing he’ll be looking for the most is high-character guys who want to be part of the group. “It’s got to come authentically. It’s got to be real,” Marks said. “I mean, I think we’ve seen it before, not just here but around the league. You bring somebody in and it’s not authentic to who they are. We want to make sure people that want to come here want to be part of something special and being part of Brooklyn and part of this unique situation.”
  • Former Pistons executive Rob Murphy and his legal representatives are firing back at the woman who accused him of harassment, Tresa Baldas of the Detroit Free Press reports. His lawyer alleged the Pistons cleared his client months ago of sexual harassment following an internal investigation. The same counsel added that Murphy looks forward to defending his name through the judicial process.

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.”

We have more on the Nets:

  • 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.”

Nets Notes: Finney-Smith, O’Neale, Lillard, Johnson, Bridges, Simmons

Several executives around the league expect the Nets to be at the forefront of the trade market this offseason, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack notebook. They have a glut of wing players, led by Mikal Bridges. They also intend to match any offer for restricted free agent Cameron Johnson, Stein notes.

That means the Nets may seek suitors for Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale as they attempt to upgrade in other areas, Stein adds. Finney-Smith is signed through the 2025/26 season with the final year being a player option. O’Neale has one year left on his contract.

We have more on the Nets:

  • Speaking of being active on the trade market, multiple league executives expect the Nets to make a run at Damian Lillard if the perennial All-Star and Trail Blazers decide he’d be better off in another uniform, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports. The Nets would likely have to add multiple first-rounders to include Ben Simmons in the trade. Alternatively, they could send the Blazers multiple players — including a quality young piece — and a couple of first-rounders.
  • What is Johnson’s market value? According to execs that Scotto spoke with, he could get a four-year contract worth approximately $90MM. He’ll have some numerous suitors, including the Rockets.
  • Bridges feels responsible for Brooklyn getting swept out of the postseason by Philadelphia, according to Ryan Dunleavy and Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Though he averaged 23.5 points in the series, he was held to 17 points in Game 4. “I feel like these past games, I’ve been letting my team down,” Bridges said. “I hate not [winning] a game for them. It hurts me as I’m just trying, but it’s part of it, man. I just own up to it and realize all you can do is just get better. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
  • General manager Sean Marks confirmed a report that Simmons probably won’t need a second back surgery, Lewis tweets. “He is checking the boxes and meeting these different markers along the way,” Marks said. “So at this point, he does not need surgery. That is the hope going forward, that he will not have to endure another surgery.”

Nets GM Sean Marks Expected To Continue Running Front Office

Nets general manager Sean Marks is expected to remain in charge of Brooklyn’s front office in 2023/24, multiple sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

As Lewis writes, the past couple seasons have been nothing if not turbulent for both Marks and the Nets, mainly due to off-court controversies.

To open 2021/22, Kyrie Irving refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which reportedly played a role in James Harden requesting a trade ahead of last year’s deadline. The primary piece the Nets received in return, Ben Simmons, didn’t end up playing last season and underwent back surgery — he hasn’t looked like his old self for the majority of this season.

Last offseason, Kevin Durant requested his own trade and reportedly tried to have former head coach Steve Nash and Marks fired. Brooklyn eventually worked things out with Durant and he remained with the team heading into this season.

The Nets had a rough start to ’22/23, going 2-5 before parting ways with Nash. Things started to turn in a positive direction after Jacque Vaughn was promoted to interim head coach, then Irving was suspended by Brooklyn promoting an antisemitic film on social media. He wound up missing eight games, with the team going 5-3 in his absence.

The team was firing on all cylinders once Irving returned, with Durant playing at an MVP level. At one point the Nets won 18 of 20 games, but then Durant went down with a knee injury. Irving was reportedly unhappy with the team’s contract extension offer in early February and requested — and was granted — a trade. Durant then quietly requested his own trade to Phoenix, and was sent to the Suns on February 9.

Marks did the best he could to recoup value for the now-departed star trio, but the championship window certainly appears to be closed in the short term. That led some to wonder whether his job might be in jeopardy, according to Lewis.

However, one source tells Lewis that “ownership has full confidence” in Marks and the rest of the front office’s ability, while another tells Lewis that Marks and owner Joe Tsai are “in lockstep.”

As Lewis notes, the Nets decided to give Vaughn a multiyear contract extension after the trade deadline, with Marks quoted in the press release. That signaled that he might remain the club’s lead decision-maker for the basketball operations department.

A former NBA player, Marks has been GM of the Nets since February 2016.

Lewis writes that “Marks’ current contractual status is unclear.” A report (subscriber link) last summer from Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News indicated that Marks had signed a contract extension, but both Lewis and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic (Twitter links) heard differently.

Nets Notes: Bridges, Marks, Durant, TV Schedule

Mikal Bridges had been a fixture in the Suns‘ rotation since he joined the team in 2018, but he wasn’t surprised that Phoenix was willing to trade him when the opportunity to get Kevin Durant arose, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Speaking alongside Cameron Johnson in their first press conference as members of the Nets, Bridges said no one can be considered untouchable when a star like Durant is in play.

“It’s KD. I get it. I 100 percent get it,” Bridges said. “That’s just how it is. I would rather say I’d rather be happy that I got traded for KD than probably like somebody else who I didn’t think would be good or something like that. So just being a realist at the end of the day. Obviously, I’m going to miss everyone there, miss my home, miss all my friends that’s back there, but I get it. You’re getting Kevin Durant, bro. Maybe I would have probably made that trade too.”

Bridges said he didn’t believe the news at first when teammate Damion Lee broke it to him in a phone call. He also had a brief moment of panic when he thought his streak of playing 365 consecutive games might end. Bridges was held out of Thursday’s contest against the Bulls, but the NBA ruled that it didn’t count as a missed game because he hadn’t officially reported to the Nets. Because Bridges appeared in 56 games as a Sun and has the opportunity to take part in up to 27 with Brooklyn, he could actually play 83 games this season.

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Although their stars are now gone, general manager Sean Marks believes the Nets are in a better position than when he joined the organization in 2016, per Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. At the time, Marks felt he was rebuilding from scratch with very little talent or draft capital to work with. Now he has a roster of proven NBA players, although their roles and long-term fit still have to be determined. “The last time I took over I didn’t have anything,” Marks said. “So it definitely looks different.”
  • Marks was able to talk Durant into rescinding the trade request he made last summer, and the GM was asked at a meeting with reporters after the deadline if he tried to do it again, Schiffer adds. “I think there’s a limit, right?” Marks responded. “I mean, you can certainly try and convince guys and you put your best foot forward and say here’s what the roster looks like, here’s what we’re trying to do. But at the end of the day, I think this works out for all parties included.”
  • With Durant and Kyrie Irving gone, the Nets are less appealing for national TV games. ESPN has dropped Brooklyn’s February 15 contest against Miami and replaced it with a Cavaliers-Sixers matchup, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

New York Notes: Thomas, Marks, Knicks, Anunoby, LaVine

Nets guard Cam Thomas was fined $40K by the NBA for using “derogatory and disparaging language during a live television interview,” the league announced on Friday (via Twitter).

Thomas was being interviewed on TNT on Thursday night alongside new teammate Spencer Dinwiddie and was asked about comments Dinwiddie made during his press conference earlier in the week. Dinwiddie had joked that the Nets acquired him and Dorian Finney-Smith because they needed more good-looking players.

“We already had good-looking dudes, no homo,” Thomas said (Twitter video link via ClutchPoints).

Thomas took to Twitter late on Thursday night to issue an apology for his comment.

“I want to apologize for the insensitive word I used in the post-game interview,” Thomas wrote. “I was excited about the win and was being playful. I definitely didn’t intend to offend anyone, but realize that I probably did. My apologies again. Much love.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • The status of Nets general manager Sean Marks is worth watching this offseason, given how disappointing the Kyrie Irving/Kevin Durant era in Brooklyn ultimately was, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Marks has already gotten the chance to hire three head coaches, Lewis notes, and the team seems further from title contention than it has been at any time in recent years.
  • Speaking to reporters after this week’s blockbuster trades, Marks acknowledged that the Irving/Durant Nets “didn’t work” and said it was “sad” to trade away a superstar like Durant. Adam Zagoria of has the story and the quotes from the Nets’ GM.
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News confirms the Knicks had discussions about OG Anunoby and Zach LaVine prior to the trade deadline, but says those talks didn’t gain traction.
  • According to Ian Begley of, the Knicks and Bulls touched base on LaVine on Thursday, several weeks after initially discussing him. During those earlier talks, there was some support within the Knicks’ organization for pursuing LaVine using a package of Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, a young rotation player, and “significant” draft capital. New York, concerned that it might be a lateral move, opted not to meet Chicago’s asking price, but it’s possible the two teams will revisit those conversations in the summer, Begley writes.
  • Although the Knicks didn’t want to give up draft capital to move off Fournier’s contract, they mulled the possibility of downgrading their draft assets in a deal involving him (ie. trading Fournier and a first-round pick in a deal for a less valuable first-rounder), according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. The veteran wing ended up staying put, as New York didn’t find a deal it liked.

Nets Notes: Simmons, Warren, Marks, Rupert, O’Neale, Claxton

Nets’ Ben Simmons, who is dealing with left knee soreness, is questionable to play Monday against the Lakers, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweetsT.J. Warren, who has a left shin contusion, is listed as doubtful.

Simmons didn’t play in the 122-115 win over the Knicks on Saturday after suffering the injury against Detroit on Thursday. Warren also missed Saturday’s game after playing on Thursday. Both are considered day-to-day.

We have more on the Nets:

  • GM Sean Marks has been traveling far and wide to scout a point guard, Nets Daily relays. Marks has reportedly twice scouted 18-year-old French point guard 6’7” Rayan Rupert, who plays for the New Zealand Breakers. Marks, who watched Rupert play in Australia and New Zealand, was accompanied on the trip by Nets director of player evaluation, B.J. Johnson. Rupert is currently ranked No. 18 on ESPN’s big board of 2023 prospects.
  • They traded with Utah for Royce O’Neale this summer and it’s worked out well, according to another Nets Daily story. He’s leading the team in minutes played while enjoying a career year. “[He’s] a guy that you trust at the end of the game, who’ll take the right shot, who’ll make the right decision at the end of the game, who doesn’t mind playing on both ends of the floor,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “He has the trust of his coaching staff, his teammates and he’s in the right spot.” O’Neale’s $9.5MM contract for next season is only partially guaranteed at $2.5MM but they’re likely to fully guarantee it, considering his value to the team.
  • Nic Claxton is enjoying the intra-city rivalry with the Knicks, especially since his team has won nine straight against them, Zach Braziller of The New York Post writes. “It does feel like a rivalry just because you felt the energy in there (Saturday),” he said. “We’re here at Barclays and they had a lot of fans and it was definitely a good atmosphere. But me, I’ve never lost to the Knicks since I’ve been in the league, I don’t think. It’s always fun playing the Knicks.” 

Nets Notes: Vaughn, Marks, Durant, Irving, Sumner, Curry

Under newly minted head coach Jacque Vaughn, the Nets have surged to a solid 3-2 record. Brooklyn seems to be thriving, at least in the short term, under the new leadership, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Vaughn had been a seven-year assistant with the Nets under various head coaches before he was promoted, first to interim head coach, and then to head coach in the wake of Steve Nash‘s dismissal earlier this year.

“I was excited for him,” Brooklyn All-Star Kevin Durant said. “I know the work that he puts in every day. I know how much he cares about the development of each player, and this team as a whole. Look forward to playing for him. All the guys have responded to how he wants us to play, so I’m looking forward to how we progress after this.”

The hiring of Vaughn marks a historic moment for the league at large, per Marc J. Spears of Andscape, as he is the 16th current Black head coach in the NBA, an all-time high. Spears notes that the NBA is comprised of 71.8% Black players, per Statistica.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports opines that the hiring of the player-friendly Vaughn represents an important move for Brooklyn’s future.

“You could see the way the guys gravitated towards Jacque and his coaching and teaching and charismatic attitude,” a Nets employee told Fischer, referring to his previous stint as an interim coach in 2020.

There’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • According to Ian Begley of, the Nets intend to see if Vaughn will be able to continue winning with the team’s current personnel before ultimately making a determination on how to move forward, be that trying to contend or attempting to retool the roster.
  • Nets team president Sean Marks indicated that he spoke with Durant prior to making the official decision to hire Vaughn for the long haul, but wasn’t necessarily soliciting his input, tweets Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “I update the players and the players knew ahead of time, but again, Kevin’s job here is to go and play basketball, and that’s what he wants to do,” Marks said. “So that decision was not up to Kevin.”
  • With point guard Kyrie Irving suspended indefinitely, the Nets have been significantly improved in every way, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. The team has gone 3-1 since Irving was banished. Vaccaro adds that lately Brooklyn has been actively looking to share the ball and appears to have stepped up defensively.
  • Part of the reason Brooklyn has improved as of late has been depth. Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post notes that guards Edmond Sumner, starting for Irving, and Seth Curry have been key contributors recently. “He’ll continue to do that, set the tone,” Vaughn said of Sumner, who missed the entirety of the 2021/22 season following an Achilles tendon tear. “He just makes a difference. He’s engaged, he gets the rest of the group engaged.” Curry, meanwhile, is one of the league’s most lethal long-range specialists. “I still got a long ways to go physically, I’m still working my way back,” Curry noted. He has been recovering from a left ankle scope in May. “Just trying to keep a good mindset of work every day and come to the game bringing energy no matter what. I’m going to make shots, like I said, eventually.”

Atlantic Notes: Harris, Udoka, Irving, Vaughn, Achiuwa

Sixers forward Tobias Harris is seeing his role change again after a recent injury to James Harden, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. With Harden sidelined for about a month, Harris is being asked to carry more of the scoring load.

“Evolving into what the situation is when presented,” Harris said. “Sometimes that is going to be a space on the floor. And obviously at times, it’s limited play calls. But you just find other ways to adapt.”

Harris is averaging 15.0 PPG through 11 games this season, but that number has risen to 22.0 in the two games without Harden. He’s also taking on more play-making duties, setting up teammates for open three-point shots with drives to the basket.

“I’ve always prided myself on being a very good team basketball player in the half-court offense,” Harris said. “That’s something I was always able to do and be a part of.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets general manager Sean Marks refused to provide details when asked before tonight’s game why the team didn’t hire Ime Udoka, tweets Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. Marks also said there’s no update on Kyrie Irving‘s suspension, adding that he hasn’t talked directly with Irving, only to his representatives. Jacque Vaughn also said he hasn’t spoken to Irving (Twitter link). Vaughn explained that he wasn’t sure about his role in the Irving scenario while he was an interim coach, but that could change now that he’s been officially hired.
  • Because he’s only signed through the 2023/24 season, Vaughn is effectively undergoing an “audition” for a longer-term role with the Nets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link). Wojnarowski adds that if management is happy with the job Vaughn does, he could get an extension at the end of the season. Woj also addresses Irving’s suspension, saying “there’s still a lot in play” regarding when he might return.
  • Raptors coach Nick Nurse is emphasizing defense to Precious Achiuwa, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Nurse had a one-on-one film session with Achiuwa today, showing him defensive mistakes that he made. Nurse projected Achiuwa to play 25 to 30 minutes per night before the season began, but said he has to become more reliable defensively for that to happen.

Nets Notes: Irving, Simmons, Tsai, Udoka, Snyder

Neither Kyrie Irving nor Ben Simmons will be available for the Nets this weekend, as Irving begins to serve a suspension levied against him by the team and Simmons remains sidelined due to a knee issue. Still, while Irving has disappointed the franchise off the court and Simmons hasn’t looked like his old self on the court, a trade involving either player is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the most recent episode of his Lowe Post podcast that Irving is essentially “radioactive” as a potential trade candidate (hat tip to RealGM): “Even if you drop the price to nothing, the baggage is just too much.”

As for Simmons, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports stated on his own podcast – Please Don’t Aggregate This – that he doesn’t believe the former No. 1 overall pick has any trade value either.

“I was talking to the team who has designs to rebuild Monday night when I was at Barclays Center,” Fischer said, per HoopsHype. “And like I asked that question, and I was told pretty point blank that they would have been interested in him before the season started and seven or eight games later now that interest has dissipated.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Addressing the apology to the Jewish community that Irving posted on Instagram late last night, Nets general manager Sean Marks said today that it was “a step” in the right direction, but that he still wants to have Irving meet with the team and Jewish leaders before being reinstated, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter links). Marks added that Brooklyn has not considered waiving Irving.
  • Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt also referred to Irving’s apology as an “encouraging step,” but said the ADL still isn’t accepting Irving’s donation, as he first announced on Thursday (Twitter links).
  • ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Friday during an appearance on Get Up (video link) that Nets owner Joe Tsai had initially hoped Irving’s misstep could be a “teachable moment,” without any significant team discipline required, while Nets management and the NBA had pushed Tsai to be more punitive. Following Irving’s repeated refusal to apologize or to clarify that he isn’t antisemitic, Tsai realized a more serious step was necessary.
  • Although Marks has denied that any decisions have been made about the Nets’ next head coach, the team is believed to be in the final stages of negotiations with Ime Udoka, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who notes that Marks and Udoka have the same representatives at CAA and says he expects those talks to conclude in the coming days. Despite Quin Snyder being considered a potential target for Brooklyn following Steve Nash‘s exit, the team had no substantial contact with Snyder to gauge his interest in the job, sources tell Fischer.
  • In a roundtable for The Athletic, Alex Schiffer, Jay King, and Jared Weiss discuss why the Nets would hire Udoka following his ugly exit from Boston. Meanwhile, Ian O’Connor of The New York Post argues that rushing into a deal with Udoka will be Brooklyn’s latest losing bet.