Brooklyn Nets Notebook: GM Sean Marks still mulling whether to use Philly draft pick

Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks (right) talks to Nets director of basketball operations Ryan Gisriel as they walk alongside the court as players warm up before a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For now, it appears the Brooklyn Nets are operating under the assumption that they will use the first-round draft pick they acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in the James Harden trade. 

General manager Sean Marks does have the option of keeping the pick for this year or pushing it back to next season. The Nets have been conducting workouts with draft-eligible players, which included on Wednesday right before the team’s end of the year meeting with the media. 

“We’re going through as if we’re trying to find somebody for this roster,” Marks said last week. “For this team that can help us move forward with. If we find a group that we think is going to be there, then we’ll keep the pick. That’s what we’re planning on right now. This is a fun time of year for the front office. To have these discussions with the coaches when they’re out there and they’re evaluating. They’re scouting these young men and seeing who could potentially don a Nets uniform next year.”

Northwest Missouri State guard Trevor Hudgins underwent a predraft workout last week in Brooklyn, according to his Instagram story. St. John’s star Julian Champagnie is also expected to work out for the Nets as well in addition to attending the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this week. 

Marks and the Brooklyn Nets front office will have until June 1 to make a decision on whether or not they use the draft pick this year or next. 

Ben Simmons Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets injured guard Ben Simmons (10) watches from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Barclays Center.Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons committed to working with Nets

The Brooklyn Nets and Ben Simmons are going to work out a plan for the point guard to successfully rehab from his surgery and address any help he may need with his mental health so that he can return to the court. 

“We will work together with the Nets on a summer plan,” a source told the New York post. “Everyone is confident.” 

The Brooklyn-based basketball team wants Simmons in the borough as much as possible while he goes through his rehab. Simmons underwent successful microdiscectomy surgery earlier this month and is expected to go through a three-week recovery before he starts his reconditioning work. 

Marks spoke about wanting to have Simmons around the team as much as possible while he continued to work on his mental health. 

We’re doing everything possible we can to get him around our group,” Marks said. “That is the key. He needs to be in here, smell the gym again, around his friends, around his family and to participate in this and let us help him build a culture together. Build up together, build him back up.”

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Nets G-League star works out for New York Knicks

Craig Randall II was one of the best stories in the NBA G-League this year, perhaps one of the best stories in all of basketball. Now he is trying to parlay that into a chance in the NBA, working out for the New York Knicks this past week. 

Randall II was one of 12 that worked out for the Knicks, according to Adam Zagoria

The 26-year-old shooting guard was named the G-League’s most improved player and led the league in made three-pointers. He also finished second for scoring, averaging 26.7 points per game. 

“My brother did a really good job preparing me,” Randall said earlier this season about his success. “Since I’ve been here my coaches and my teammates have done a great job of just putting the confidence in me. Trusting me to make plays. … Just trusting the work and trusting God, that’s what I say all the time. I’m going to keep doing that and keep listening to my coaches.”

While Randall II had played for the Long Island Nets, the Brooklyn Nets do not own his NBA rights. 

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