Analysis, News

Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Nets Down To Three Candidates?

It is amazing to report this, but the Brooklyn Nets rumors are flying all over Brooklyn these days. Who thought the Nets would be all over the rumor mill after the dismissal of Lionel Hollins and the reassignment (allegedly) of Billy King? Now let’s be honest here. What 40-loss team can keep their name in the press the way the Brooklyn Nets have since January 10th, 2016? What team do you know can function (albeit with a ton of ridicule) without a General Manager so close to the trade deadline? What team do you know can have so much going on without being close to the playoffs to the point that beat writers are struggling to keep up? Yes, it would be the Brooklyn Nets. The only team that has its own segment on Brooklyn’s Finest…

Brooklyn Nets Rumors!

For the last few weeks, the Brooklyn Nets rumors have been flying all over the Barclays Center - on the floor and off. Right now the most important subject sticking out like a sore thumb on the Brooklyn Nets rumors list is concerning the General Manager situation.

The NBA trade deadline is seven days away (and counting) and the Brooklyn Nets still (all together now)…


But it looks like the Nets are close to taking care of this (I’m being kind here) adventure. ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that the Nets will narrow their search down to two or three finalists by the end of All-Star Weekend. According to Broussard, the finalists are Bryan Colangelo, Arturus Karnisovas, and Sean Marks.

Here’s what was said by Chris Broussard on his Twitter account…

“Nets brass 2 narrow GM list to 2 or 3 this weekend, per source. Front runners believed 2 be Bryan Colangelo, Arturus Karnisovas, Sean Marks”

Bryan Colangelo has been featured on Brooklyn’s Finest as the favorite to take over as the next GM of the Brooklyn Nets. He obviously is the safest choice based on the notion that Mikhail Prokhorov stated the next GM will have extensive basketball experience. Colangelo sure fits that bill to a “T”. Out of the three finalists, Colangelo has the most sterling resume.

Bryan Colangelo was very instrumental in turning the Toronto Raptors around, to the tune of winning the 2007 NBA Executive on the Year award. Plus with his father, Jerry Colangelo, turning the Philadelphia 76ers into an NBA team again, the NBA brass (in my opinion quietly) are hoping that the Colangelo DNA can turn this franchise around as well. Before making his imprint in Toronto, Colangelo also build the Phoenix Suns into a Western Conference contender. He won his first Executive of the Year award there.

Now Sean Marks and Arturus Karnisovas are less known and more of a risk.

Sean Marks is the last reported candidate that joined the list. It was reported that he was on the Brooklyn Nets’ radar less than a week ago. Sean Marks currently works as the Assistant General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs. Marks played the journeyman role for 12 years in the NBA and has a background in international basketball, playing for New Zealand in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

He joined the San Antonio Spurs in 2012 and is considered a valuable asset in the organization. In the last three years with the Spurs, Marks has taken full advantage of the commitment to excellence that is the San Antonio Spurs. Marks has climbed the ladder first as a basketball operations assistant, then he became the director of basketball operations before becoming an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich. He helped bring home a championship over the LeBron James-led Miami Heat before becoming the Assistant GM last season. Marks also headed up the San Antonio D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, which looks very well on a resume for the Nets, who are set to launch their own D-League team, the Long Island Nets.

What puts him in the final three after only a week, you ask? Sergey Kushencko, a member of the Nets search committee, is personal friends with R.C. Buford, the Spurs’ GM. The way I see it, if you can’t get a hold of the best, have the best point you in the right direction. Sean Marks has to be the real deal, if one of the mainstays of the Spurs dynasty has a good word for him. Period.

Arturus Karnisovas has quite a credential list as a player overseas. Even though he never played in the NBA he has accomplished a lot over the years.

Karnisovas won two Olympic bronze medals on the Lithuanian team. He won two Big East championships where he played under former Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo. He helped his teams to three trips to the Euroleague Final Four, three Spanish league championships, one Italian league championship, and a European Player of the year award. This is a guy that flourished before the NBA started paying attention to European players and what they could do for teams in the league.

Karnisovas has put in work in NBA circles as well. He served first as an international scout for the Houston Rockets. Now he is currently working as an Assistant GM for the Denver Nuggets, a position he has held since 2013. What is strange here is that Karnisovas signed a contract extension with the Nuggets recently. I guess the Nuggets value his work and would like him to stay for awhile.

If the Nets want Karnisovas, it is because of one thing: the man knows international basketball. If he is hired, Brooklyn has committed to investing in European and various international talent to add to the squad going forward. This can be done, since joining the Nuggets, Karnisovas has brought in Jusuf Nurkic (Okay, I could bring up the Joe Johnson crossover this week… oh forget it!), Nikola Jokic, and Joffrey Lauvergne. The golden goose that Karnisovas brought in was Emmanuel Mudiay,who played in China. Mudiay has been a beast at times this year. He knows how to stash them too. Serbian point guard Nikola Radicevic is waiting in the wings to come to the NBA. An international scouting system is exactly what Mikhail Prokhorov has in mind.

Here’s the problem. He lacks the experience to turn this franchise around. Great scout, but he does not have the experience of Colangelo, furthermore he doesn’t have the experience of running a D-League team like Marks. What’s even more troubling, he is reportedly friendly with Billy King and Frank Zanin. The Brooklyn Nets really have to wrap their minds around the notion that the next GM has to distance the franchise as far away from the Billy King philosophy as possible.

The Nets will not make a final decision on the new GM for two good reasons…

Number one, the NBA will not sign off on this during the All-Star weekend. This is a celebration and Adam Silver will be in the middle of heading up the festivities. This would be very tacky of the Brooklyn Nets to make news to take away from the attention of the annual event.

Number two, if it took this long to find a GM, do you really think the Nets would finish this in a couple of days?