Sean Marks was hired by the Brooklyn Nets to make something out of nothing. Billy King depleted the Nets of draft picks by bringing in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to pair with former All-Star Deron Williams and star center Brook Lopez to give it one shot against Lebron’s Miami Heat which ended up being a fail.
Fast forward to 2017 and the Nets have acquired several young assets with star potential in D’Angelo Russell and Jahlil Okafor who was acquired recently in exchange for Trevor Booker a veteran who provides energy on defense and can get you 10-20 points a night and hustle on both ends of the floor.
D’Angelo Russell was picked #2 overall with Jahlil Okafor being drafted #3 overall, not saying Russell and Okafor will he the next Kobe and Shaq but they compliment each other nicely on the offensive end since Russell is shooter and can create his own shot as well as create opportunities for Jahlil in the post on drive and kickouts.
Sean Marks also has acquired Allen Crabbe in hopes of reaping the benefits of Crabbe expanding his all-around game instead of being just a spot up shooter on a Portland roster where McCollum and Lillard control the offense. Caris Levert,Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Jarrett Allen figure to be other young pieces Brooklyn looks to develop with the help of Kenny Atkinson’s experience as a former player development coach which has lead to Russell’s resurrection in Brooklyn after having a nightmare on the Lakers starting with the incident with Nick Young and not being a favorite of former Lakers coach Byron Scott who said D’Angelo Russell was not ready like former guards Scott coached in Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul.
Jahlil Okafor was drafted by the Sixers and saw himself not seeing any minutes falling out of Brett Brown’s favor with his immaturity outside of the NBA floor by getting physical with hecklers and not conducting himself like the professional he is. With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid anchoring the way in Philadelphia the Sixers Okafor can now build a new path just like Russell, hopefully they both learn from each other and steer their careers in the right direction because offensively they can both average 20-26 ppg in their primes if they put the work in to become better all around players which I don’t see why it can not happen being that Atkinson is a player’s coach and Russ and Okafor will mature and live up to their draft potential. Okafor’s back to the basket game is not at an elite level but the kid has shown he can win by winning a national title with Duke years ago, he can face-up on his defender and score off the dribble.
He needs to improve on defense which is his weakest skill and would be best served alongside a forward like Hollis-Jefferson who has potential as a versatile stretch 4 who can defend multiple positions alot like Draymmond Green does for the Warriors as a small ball 4 who can switch onto any player on the floor and serve as a help defender for Jahlil Okafor who relies more on skill then athleticism to be effective.
Defense is 70 percent effort 30 percent skill so if Okafor can put in the effort he can guarantee himself a role and likely ask for more in the free agent market when he becomes available. Russell has up til now shown us he will likely be a perennial All-Star in the Eastern Conference assuming Brooklyn decides to re-sign him when he becomes a free-agent. Jarrett Allen has shown flashes of becoming something special once he puts some more mass on and gets more experience on the floor, he is a lob-target and will be serviceable due to his athleticism and defensive abilities in the paint. Don’t be shocked if the Brooklyn Nets make the playoffs.