The organization announced the move in a press release, and owner Mikhail Prokhorov explained the decision:
After an exhaustive vetting process, we are delighted to have Sean as our general manager. His experience on the court, in coaching and management gives him a 360 degree view of the job at hand. His background helping to build one of the greatest teams in the NBA gives him an unparalleled frame of reference. And he impressed us all with his vision, his values, his personality and his enthusiasm for the club. The vote to select him from an incredible list of talent was unanimous. We welcome Sean into our Nets family and look forward to his strong leadership and independent thinking as we build our own success story.
Former Nets general manager Billy King was reassigned within the organization in January.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Marks signed a four-year deal after the Nets reportedly increased their initial offer significantly.
Per the release, Marks is looking forward to the challenge ahead of him:
I am very excited to be named the general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, and to become a member of the vibrant and dynamic organization that represents Brooklyn. I would like to thank Nets' ownership for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to the challenge of creating a unified culture and building a winning team.
According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Prokhorov revealed that the entire organization was behind the hiring:
Mikhail Prokhorov on hiring Sean Marks as Nets GM: "The vote to select him from an incredible list of talent was unanimous."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) February 18, 2016
The 40-year-old native of New Zealand spent 11 seasons as an NBA forward before becoming the Spurs' director of basketball operations in 2012. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Spurs before becoming their assistant general manager.
Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk is among those who view Marks as a strong hire, but he stressed the importance of a proper rebuild:
Sean Marks could be a fantastic GM in Brooklyn — if Prokhorov & company give him space and let him do his job. Not going to be quick rebuild— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) February 18, 2016
Brooklyn is currently 14th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-40, but there is hope for improvement since Joe Johnson's massive contract is set to come off the books this offseason.
The Nets don't have the benefit of their own first-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft, however, since it was previously traded to the Boston Celtics.
Marks has a big job ahead of him in terms of molding a winning organization, due to the fact that center Brook Lopez is perhaps the only big piece to build around.
There is certainly some pressure to turn things around quickly since the Nets' recent attempts to go for it in the Eastern Conference fell flat, but a short-term fix seems unlikely, so allowing Marks to essentially start from scratch may be Prokhorov's best option.
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