Brooklyn Nets Strike Early in Free Agency
The NBA Free Agent frenzy began shortly after midnight E.T. on Sunday, and Sean Marks did not waste any time in joining the fun.
Shortly after the negotiation period began, the Brooklyn Nets GM reportedly struck a two-year, $16 million agreement with guard Joe Harris, who spent the past two seasons thriving in Kenny Atkinson’s system. Resigning Harris was Marks’ top priority heading into free agency, and he was able to keep his guy. Harris said all along that he wanted to return to Brooklyn, and he earned himself a nice payday by putting up career-best numbers last season.
Marks followed up the Harris agreement by agreeing to a one-year deal with free agent forward Ed Davis. Davis is a 6’10” veteran who spent the last three seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He is a rugged rebounder who should help the Nets protect the rim, an area in which the team struggled all last season. Davis is a solid locker room presence as well who should help with the development of 20-year-old center Jarrett Allen. It’s a nice signing for Brooklyn. The Trail Blazers were not happy that the Nets were able to pry Davis away from them. Star point guard Damian Lillard voiced his displeasure with the news on Twitter. Portland, however, “retaliated” by agreeing to a deal with guard Nik Stauskas, who spent part of last season with the Nets.
The way things stand right now, the Nets will head into the 2018-19 season with most of their current rotation intact. Rookies Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs should provide depth off the bench. Atkinson and his staff will work on developing the two young European players next season. Davis will provide much-needed frontcourt depth behind Allen and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Harris will continue doing what he does best for at least two more seasons.
None of these moves will become official until July 6., the day the NBA Moratorium is lifted. First, the team will officially announce the Dwight Howard trade and buyout. The deals for Harris and Davis won’t become official until after Marks uses up the remainder of the team’s cap space. Harris currently has a $1.6 million cap hold that allows the Nets to sign him after they conduct the rest of their offseason business, because he was one of their own free agents. The Nets are also using their room exception to sign Davis. Depending on how much money Howard leaves on the table after he is bought out of his contract, Marks could still have free cap space to sign additional players.
The Nets are far from a finished product, but you have to give Marks a ton of credit for the job he has done thus far. Every move he made makes the Nets better in some capacity. I’m sure Nets fans and NBA pundits alike are excited to see what he has up his sleeve next.