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Brooklyn Nets ‘Plan’ To Re-Sign Blake Griffin, Their Own Free Agents; Introduce Draft Picks Cam Thomas And Day’Ron Sharpe

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 2, 2021

The Brooklyn Nets “plan” to re-sign free agent Blake Griffin and their own free agents once free agency begins at 6 p.m. ET Monday. They are “married” to the luxury tax and have no qualms about paying it.

Here are some highlights of Brooklyn’s meeting with the media on Monday in which they introduced their draft picks Cam Thomas (LSU) and Day’Ron Sharpe (UNC).

PLAN TO RE-SIGN BLAKE GRIFFIN, FREE AGENTS

The “plan” is to re-sig Griffin, the former No. 1 draft pick who averaged 11.0 points and 4.9 rebounds and played a key role for the Nets after he agreed to a buyout with Detroit in March.

“I think we all saw the intangibles that [Griffin] brought to us last year, some on the court, some behind the scenes,” GM Sean Marks said Monday. “And what he did in the locker room, the veteran presence that he had, so he was absolutely terrific, he found a niche with the team.

“We would love to have him back. That is certainly the plan, there is no secret about that.”

The Nets would also hope to re-sign free agents Jeff Green (11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Bruce Brown (8.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg), while they’d also like to re-sign Spencer Dinwiddie although he could be involved in a sign-and-trade.

“Regarding re-signing our own free agents, the fact of the matter is they’ve played very well throughout this year and a credit to them, so they deserve the opportunity to see what the market looks like and what the market bears and all we can do is sort of see where the dust settles over the next four, five or six days and go from there,” Marks said.

Dinwiddie could command as much as $10-15 million annually, the New York Post reported, so the best route might be a sign-and-trade. He has been linked to New Orleans while Oklahoma City is reportedly prepared to make a two-year, $40-million offer.

“If there’s something to be done where he’s returning, terrific. If there’s not and he’s moving on, look, we wish Spencer all the best,” Marks said per the Post. “He’s likely in line for generational money and he deserves it.”

Marks said the team was “married” to the luxury tax.

“Yes, we’re married to the luxury tax so there’s no ifs, ands or butts about that,” he said. “We know where we’re at, we know where we’ve been heading for some time now and that’s the commitment that [owner] Joe Tsai has made and to have an owner like that that’s all in an so we’re committed to this year and the following year.”

GOAL IS TO ADD FRONTCOURT DEPTH

As far as big picture goals for the team going forward, Marks said he wanted to add frontcourt depth. If they opt to move DeAndre Jordan and his $10 million salary, Oklahoma City is reportedly one trade candidate.

“We have a pretty good team, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, we don’t want to screw it up too bad,” Marks said. “We want to add depth at the big-man position and that’s going to be important from a defensive and rebounding standpoint.

“We’ll know in a few days, I guess.”

CAM THOMAS PROVIDES INSTANT OFFENSE

The 6-4 guard out of LSU had 16 games with 25+ points last season, the most by an SEC player in the last quarter century. He averaged 23.0 points per game, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He averaged 23.1 points in the SEC games.

Still, with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the Nets have no shortage of scorers. So where does the No. 27 pick in the Draft fit in?

“Regarding the scoring piece, that’s certainly something that we’re always looking for and we’re trying to look at where the other holes might be on the roster,” Marks said.

Legendary Oak Hill Academy (VA) coach Steve Smith called Thomas a “walking bucket” who can “get his shot anytime.”

As for how he translates to the NBA, head coach Steve Nash said, “I think he’s more than capable to be an excellent shooter in our league. He’s gotta go out there and prove it, he’s gotta work at it. All great shooters shoot every day, work at it religiously but for me all the tools are there …And if he plays with other great players, he’s going to get a lot of open looks and won’t be asked to manufacture as many.”

Said Thomas on where he fits in: “Me being a three-level scorer, I can just bring all of that to the Nets bench, whether it’s out the gate or later in the year. You can never have too much scoring and I’m just ready to contribute whether it’s now or later in the year so I just can’t wait to get to work.”

The 6-foot-11, 265-pound Sharpe brings a physical rebounding presence to the Nets with the No. 29 pick acquired from Phoenix. He also has a good passing touch and a strong frame.

He is one of four players from the 2019-20 Montverde (FL) Academy team coached by Kevin Boyle chosen in the first round, including No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham. Overall, seven Montverde players were selected in the draft — a record for one prep school or college.

“These are young, young guys,” Nash said. “They both have the potential to play in this league, they gotta earn it and prove it on a contending team.

“They both very well may earn minutes but they both may not. We want to develeop thsesee guys regardless of whether they’re playing or not playing.”

Both players will compete with the Nets Vegas Summer League team, They play Aug. 9 vs. Memphis (5 pm ESPN2), Aug. 11 vs. the Bucks (4 pm ESPN2), Aug. 12 vs. Washington (5 pm ESPNU) and Aug. 15 vs. the Spurs (6 pm NBATV).

NETS ADD ASSISTANT COACH

After losing Ime Udoka (Boston Celtics) and Mike D’Antoni (stepping away), the Nets are hiring Brian Keefe as an assistant, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

He’s a former assistant with the Lakers, Knicks and Thunder.

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