Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Andrea Bargnani Out, Joe Johnson Could Become A Buyout Casualty

Sean Marks wasted little time in implementing changes to the Brooklyn Nets’ roster. The newly hired General Manager for the Nets made his first decision when he waived forward Andrea Bargnani late Saturday night. NBA.com reported that Marks ousted Bargnani, the former No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft, leaving an open roster spot. His decision came just three days after accepting the role of GM, according to Sports Illustrated.

Bargnani averaged 6.6 points and 2.1 rebounds a game.

Now that Sean Marks has waived Andrea Bargnani, the question for Brooklyn Nets now becomes which decision will he make next? Could Marks next move be waiving another player, buying out a veteran star, or hiring a full-time head coach?

It was over a month ago when the Nets fired coach Lionel Hollins. On January 11, Hollins was given his walking papers and General Manager Billy King resigned. Nets’ assistant coach Tony Brown took over the team as interim head coach. The front office was overseen by owner Mikhail Prokhorov and others.

Without a full-time head coach and GM in place, the Brooklyn Nets were in a bit of disarray. It became increasingly difficult to hire a coach, not without a general manager doing the hiring. Usually, a GM picks the coach whom he or she is comfortable with. With Marks in the fold, he believes that he will have the full support of the Nets’ ownership (courtesy of ESPN) to make the decisions he needs to make. Because he feels that everyone shares the same vision is why Marks took the position.

“It was a difficult decision; any time you’re having to get out of your comfort zone isn’t easy, but at the same time, my time spent with Mr. Prokhorov, Dmitry and the rest of the Nets group here during the interviews led me to believe that we have a similar vision.

“And I’m privileged to have had the opportunity in San Antonio to have been around some really good staff members, both Coach Pop [Gregg Popovich] and [Spurs GM] R.C. Buford, tremendous mentors for me, and what I’ve learned from them. And to be honest, it’s time for me to see if I can do this.”

There is little doubt that Marks received no push-back from wanting to waive Andrea Bargnani.

Sean Marks will take a little bit of time to evaluate the roster of the before making other decisions. Fans should not expect other players to be waived at this point, though a buyout could be reached with all-star guard Joe Johnson, which would free him up to join a contending team.

“The vision is to evaluate immediately, so it’ll be evaluating the roster, the staff, the needs, finding out what can be put in in the meantime. By no means is this a wasted year. I think you can still get some things out of this year. We’ve got some really talented young guys on this team that need to be developed. We’ve got a culture that needs to be set, and that starts from day one.”

Joe Johnson is talented, but not considered a “young guy.” He wants to compete for an NBA title at some point in his career. Unfortunately, his $24 million salary is one of the reasons why he was not moved to a contender during the offseason or at the NBA trade deadline. Since his multi-year deal is in its final months, the chatter about him reaching a buyout is growing increasingly louder. That is hastened now with Sean Marks installed as the Nets’ general manager.

If the Brooklyn Nets do reach a buyout with Joe Johnson, Cleveland.com is reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be interested in signing him. Other teams who will be monitoring the Joe Johnson buyout situation are the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, and Memphis Grizzlies, among others.

The NBA has a rule which requires a player to be bought out by a specific time in order to be eligible for the playoffs. The date set for playoff eligibility is March 1st.

Chances are high that Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets will reach a decision on a possible Joe Johnson buyout sooner than bring in a new head coach. Marks will want some time to evaluate the Nets as a whole, including the coaching situation. He has eight days remaining for buyout decisions. Marks will need more time than that to look into the coaching situation.

Sean Marks’ first decision as the Brooklyn Nets’ GM was to waive Andrea Bargnani. That move will not be his last before the season is finished. The next move that Marks and the Nets will make could be completing a buyout with star guard Joe Johnson. That will happen before a new head coach is in place. A new Brooklyn Nets coach will not be hired as soon as fans would like, as Sean Marks takes time to evaluate the team as a whole. Rest assured that the Nets will make some tough choices in the next few weeks, most likely not in the order that everyone anticipates.

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