Brooklyn Nets players say they want to stay with team long term

Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

As of late, the Brooklyn Nets have done a great job developing players who now have real value. With that being said, their contracts are beginning to expire. Rest assured however, that all these guys want to be back in the borough.

In 2016 when Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov fired both General Manager Billy King and Head Coach Lionel Hollins, it signaled a change in the direction of the franchise. The team had a dumpster fire from within that needed to be put out. Prokhorov learned from his mistakes and knew the franchise now needed a young, hungry front office. To put in place this front office, Prokhorov hired Spurs assistant General Manager Sean Marks.

Marks had been praised around the league and was looked at as a great hire in Brooklyn. However, not many knew how Marks could possibly turn around a team with no real future pieces and draft picks. With limited assets, Marks traded away his veterans for young players and draft picks. In addition he looked for under the radar players that teams had given up on. Some of those players included Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Originally guys who had no jobs, both have blossomed into important role players and assets going forward. Many fans may even consider them better than role players. Coach Kenny Atkinson’s player development crew has been mainly credited for their growth. However when Marks made these signings, he didn’t expect these guys to turn into the players they did. No one expected these players to be double digits scorers and clutch down the stretch. With that in mind, their contracts were multi-year, yet short term, no risk deals.

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With Harris’ deal expiring this June and Dinwiddie’s contract expiring next summer, the Nets will need to pull out their checkbook if they want both guys here for the future. No one knows how much Harris’ will want or will be worth, but all we know is he wants to be in Brooklyn long term.

"“I’ve been enjoying being here and being a part of a good organization,” Harris told the Charlottesville Progress, home of the University of Virginia, his alma mater. “I love playing for Kenny. I love the teammates that we have and everybody else that’s in the organization. We have a lot of great people, top to bottom."

Harris also went on to state he is more focused on the team and his on-court development than himself and money

"“I really don’t think about that stuff a whole lot. I focus on trying to get better here collectively and individually and just enjoying it while I can.”"

This says a lot about how far the Nets organization has come along. A once poorly run organization is now referred to by players as the best they’ve played for. This shows that Marks and Atkinson, while still trying to dig out of a ditch, are building the team correctly.

As far as Dinwiddie goes, he was recently interviewed about a similar topic and had this to say

"“I would love to be here long-term. I’m fully indebted to Brooklyn,” Dinwiddie said. “Honestly, my very first impression of Brooklyn was the culture of development. I thought they were very invested in the guys they chose to be a part of that.”"

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These are exactly the kinds of statements the Brooklyn Nets regime wants their players to make. After all, what organization wouldn’t want their players praising the workplace they’ve created for the team? But while the Nets may want to hear these kind of statements, these statements are also something the Nets organization needs.

Many league sources have pointed out the fact that agents are taking notice of what is currently going on in Brooklyn. Players have seen how guys like Dinwiddie and Harris went from having no jobs to averaging double digit points and playing key roles on the Nets . This says a lot about the coaching staff’s ability to get the most out of their players, and as a result, turns Brooklyn into a place free agents no longer cross off their list of teams at the start of free agency.

Players are taking notice of the culture that has been put in place in just two years, and how the team has improved with very few real assets when Sean Marks took over. Add in these comments by two of the Nets key players and it only helps spike potential free agent interest.

While it’s yet to be seen just what players will want in on the current culture in Brooklyn, the Nets will hope for more positive comments. Many players have praised the organization including some who have not even played in a black-and-white jerseys. With all that said, the Nets have an interesting trade deadline and off season ahead. Buckle in Brooklyn Nets fans, Sean Marks is ready to acquire some more assets.