Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks did what just about everyone expected him to do with the Philadelphia 76ers draft pick: He’s going to defer it to next season.
While the Nets have not made an official announcement, but both Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported that the Nets would push back using the pick until 2023. The Nets had acquired Philadelphia’s unprotected first-round selection as part of the James Harden trade back in February.
The Nets had until June 1 to notify the NBA of their decision and they notified the league hours ahead of the midnight deadline, Wojnarkwski reported
Brooklyn had been working out players at the team’s facility in Sunset Park since the offseason began. The Nets were conducting several workouts on the day that Marks met with reporters for his final press conference of the year.
The Nets had worked out at least 26 players, according to a list compiled by NetsDaily. Among them were local stars such as Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr., St. John’s Julian Champagnie, Seton Hall’s Jared Rhoden and Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim.
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The gamble for the Brooklyn Nets is that they’re assuming that next year’s Philadelphia squad will finish worse than this year’s team, which was eliminated in the second round by the Miami Heat. This year’s NBA draft class is not expected to be nearly as deep as next season either, which surely played into Marks’ decision.
The Nets could also use the pick in a package to add to the team going into next season after they were unceremoniously eliminated from the postseason by the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. The offseason is going to be a crucial one for the Brooklyn Nets as they look to recover from back-to-back seasons that fell short of the expectations placed upon them.