Kevin Durant isn’t the only MVP candidate on the Brooklyn Nets. General manager Sean Marks needs some recognition, too. In an unexpected turn of events, Brooklyn was down to eight players for Tuesday’s contest against Toronto due to seven players entering health and safety protocols. Although the Raptors were shorthanded as well with 10 players, the Nets had no business winning the game.
However, as we all know, Brooklyn won 131-129 in overtime. Per usual, Durant led the way with 34 points and Patty Mills was right behind him with 30.
After Mills was rookie Kessler Edwards with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Nic Claxton, a 2019 second-round draft pick, scored 16 points and added seven rebounds. Undrafted rookie David Duke Jr. had 10 points and 13 rebounds. The No. 29 pick of the 2021 draft, Day’Ron Sharpe, played in only 13 minutes but recorded seven points and seven rebounds.
Cam Thomas, the No. 27 pick in last year’s draft, was the lone young player to not have a solid outing, but his career-high with Brooklyn is 18 points and has previously shown flashes of promise. He finished with four points and three assists in 22 minutes against Toronto.
Four of the names listed above are the product of the 2021 draft, except Claxton. As a result, there was plenty of talk about Marks’ drafting abilities after the Nets’ young players put on a show.
Sean Marks’ drafting ability stands out in win for the Brooklyn Nets.
We bet that Marks woke up on Wednesday morning with a smile on his face. Marks is in his sixth season as the general manager of Brooklyn, and he’s transformed the franchise.
Marks took over on Feb. 18, 2016, and things haven’t been the same since. The Nets finished 20-62 in his first full season as GM, and in the past three seasons, the team has made it to the playoffs. Not to mention, last season’s record of 48-24 was a franchise-best.
The future looks even brighter, and not only because of Durant, James Harden, and (maybe) Kyrie Irving. Marks is exceptional at drafting, and if you need proof of this, look no further than the 2021 draft class. He’s doing this with extremely late first-round selections, second rounders, and those who go undrafted. And you were worried about the first-round picks that went to the Rockets in the Harden trade? As long as Marks has a few second-rounders, it shouldn’t be a problem!
Marks has a true eye for talent, which is how Brooklyn was able to land these names outside of the top 10. Think about how many teams are constantly in the lottery and fail to capitalize on drafting the right players. In fact, it seems a bit unfair that Marks and the Nets are seemingly this successful at drafting/developing young talent, considering they have two former MVPs on the roster as well.
Durant’s play on the court has dazzled, carrying the Nets to think point. The young guys have either proven to possibly have a role in the rotation/with the team for years to come or have boosted their trade value significantly with the deadline less than two months away.
Executive of the Year award incoming for Marks? We think so.