Nets get sharpshooter Landry Shamet in three-team swap
Marks shapes roster on draft night, but no Harden deal yet
While the James Harden watch continues for Brooklyn Nets fans, the franchise did add a couple of new names to the roster during Wednesday night’s NBA Draft.
Nets general manager Sean Marks traded away his first-round pick (19th overall) to the Detroit Pistons as part of a three-way trade with the Los Angeles Clippers that brought sharpshooter Landry Shamet to Brooklyn.
Marks also traded back a couple of spots in the second round to pick up Mississippi State’s Reggie Perry, the Southeast Conference’s Co-Player of the Year, with the 57th selection.
Though most of the days and hours leading up to the league’s first-ever virtual draft were spent pondering whether Marks would be able to make a mega deal with Houston for Harden, an eight-time All-Star and former NBA Most Valuable Player, that scenario has yet to play itself out.
The Rockets made it known ahead of and after the draft that they will not deal their leading scorer, or his running mate Russell Westbrook, without receiving what they deem to be worthy compensation.
For the Nets, that could mean swapping Spencer Dinwiddie and/or Caris LeVert as well as a bevy of draft picks to Houston, which revealed that it was willing to go into training camp later this month with both Harden and Westbrook even if it creates an awkward setting.
ESPN reported Tuesday that Rockets management was “willing to get uncomfortable” with its high-paid duo even if it means going through camp and beginning the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22 with both still on the team.
That ups the ante for Marks to make a more lucrative offer to the Rockets in the hopes of landing Harden, who would then team up with Brooklyn’s superstar tandem of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Rockets could also be interested in acquiring Irving for Harden, who has expressed interest in leaving Houston since the end of the COVID-19-abbreviated campaign at the NBA’s bubble site in Orlando, Florida.
But that would break up the dynamic duo that Marks brought here in the summer of 2019 to lead the Nets to their first-ever NBA title.
Shamet, who spent part of his first season in Philadelphia before playing the better part of the past two campaigns for the Clippers, could be viewed as a potential safety valve in case Marks is unable to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent and 3-point shooting savant Joe Harris next week.
Harris, who could command up to $12 million per season on the open market, is eligible to begin hearing offers from other teams on Friday, but can’t be signed to a new deal until Sunday.
A player like Shamet, who shot 45 percent from 3-point range over 25 games for Los Angeles two years ago, averaged 9.3 points per contest while draining 37.5 percent of his shots from beyond the arc last season.
Perry brings some bulk and rebounding prowess to Brooklyn after averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 boards per contest at MSU last season as a sophomore.
The MVP of last year’s FIBA Under-19 World Cup of Basketball in Greece will likely be asked to help spell Brooklyn centers DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen when he isn’t working out of the power forward position.
“It feels good,” said Perry, who turned 20 in March. “I was nervous in the second round and it got tight. But it definitely feels good to hear my name called and that’s been my dream since I was little.
“I told my agent I just wanted to hear my name called, no matter when it was called. I am going to get there and work as soon as I get to Brooklyn.”
Ironically, Harden is looking forward to the same thing.
But for now, the Rockets are standing pat on their resolve to keep him in Houston until the Nets, or another NBA franchise, comes up with a deal that will make them happy.
That won’t stop Marks from doing his job, which is to make the Nets, as presently constituted, better for the upcoming season.
Nothing But Net: Rookie Nets head coach Steve Nash spent his first draft night in his new role in the war room with Brooklyn management. “It’s been incredible. It’s been exciting just to be in the room,” Nash told the Yes Network. “We’re trying to contend and win a championship. That’s something we’re not going to shy away from. We realize that there is a long path towards that. It’s not just about the names on the roster, it’s about how we compete together. … We realize it’s going to take time, it’s going to take patience, it’s going to take a lot of hard work.”
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