Nets GM Sean Marks gave a very political response when asked about the swirling James Harden trade rumors.
The NBA’s truncated offseason is somehow moving faster than expected and –despite us being just a few days removed from the 2020 Draft — all eyes are focused on what the Houston Rockets’ plan to do with disgruntled superstar James Harden, who reportedly turned down a two-year, $103 million extension from the franchise.
In doing so, Harden reportedly made it abundantly clear that he wants a trade and all the buzz suggests that he’s conspicuously determined to play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. While the Nets have the requisite assets and draft compensation to pull off a trade for Harden, they have to consider whether depleting their sources to create a potentially toxic situation would be worth bolstering their championship odds.
Well, with these rumors not going away anytime soon, GM Sean Marks appeared on a special edition of “Nets Hot Stove” on the YES Network on Thursday to discuss Brooklyn’s chaotic offseason. For fans longing for some insight into the Harden rumors, we regret to inform you that Marks offered up the most political response possible.
If you thought that snippet was bad, wait until you read Marks’ full quote about the Harden buzz, which somehow morphed into him lauding how far the franchise has come now that high-profile stars want to play there.
“There’s never a dull moment, and I think when maybe you’re the part of some rumors out there and so forth, you take heed and just look how far the Nets organization has come. We’re obviously excited to get the team that we have, to be honest, out on the floor, and I think not only with Kevin and Ky and Caris (LeVert) and Jarrett Allen, you work your way through the roster.
“For those guys having the opportunity to get out there and, as you said, wear the black and white, that’s the most important thing. It’s a crazy business that we live in and things are thrown your way all the time, and you have to pivot and be flexible and maintain that throughout the season.”
So much for providing the disoriented fanbase with some telling insight into the possibility of the Nets acquiring a third superstar, right? Well, in a virtual conference with reporters on Friday, the 45-year-old GM actually got specific when asked about whether he’d be willing to mortgage Brooklyn’s future to add a third star.
“When you say mortgage, probably no,” said Marks. “We want to build something sustainable. The other side is take advantage of what we have now, take advantage of the moment.”
At the same time, however, Marks admitted that he’s having honest conversations with players on the roster amid the Harden hysteria.
“I’ve talked to several of our players about this,” Marks continued. “I’ve said, ‘Look, forget the rumors. Let’s just go out there and concentrate on what we have at hand — which is the group that’s here.’
“I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said, ‘Nothing’s ever gonna happen.’ At the same time, they understand that this is a business. Let’s be prepared, and I sincerely mean it: I like this group that we have. The group’s been together for a while now and we continue to add some pieces to it.”
Marks was honestly all over the place with these comments, but that’s to be expected given how much pressure he’s under with one of the NBA’s most gifted players allegedly demanding a trade to Brooklyn.
If we learned anything from these two media sessions, it’s that Marks isn’t afraid to make a trade for a third superstar, but he doesn’t want to unload a damning haul of young assets and draft compensation in order to make it happen.
Unfortunately for him, however, he probably can’t have one without the other.