Saying Nets talks with the Rockets over James Harden were “not very substantive,” Adrian Wojnarowski told ESPN early Saturday that Brooklyn is shifting its “focus” to adding “complementary pieces” to a roster led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
— Talkin’ Nets (@TalkinNets) November 21, 2020
“Houston’s not shown a desire right now to really move quickly on James Harden,” said Woj. “Joe Harris was the off-season priority for Sean Marks in Brooklyn. He gets that $75 million deal. They bring Landry Shamet in.
“We’ll see. There are still more deals to made in Brooklyn,” Woj noted. “Their focus now is having those complementary guys around KD and Kyrie. And Harris was at the top of the list to keep him.”
The comments, of course, did foreclose on any future deal with Houston. And as of Saturday afternoon, the Nets were still holding on to players rumored to be part of a future Harden package.
However, in comments to beat writers Friday, Sean Marks repeatedly noted how he’s happy with what he has on his roster and isn’t going to gut his roster nor his draft cupboard.
“I couldn’t tell you if we are done yet or not but I don’t see us changing five or six guys on the roster.”
Similarly, Marks told reporters he doesn’t want to “mortgage” the future either.
“That is the dilemma, right?” Marks said. “If you put it like mortgage the future, I would probably say no. There comes a fine line where you say this is what we are going to do, not only in a trade for a star player but any trade for that matter.”
In effect, Marks was signaling that he holds the leverage. He likes what he has already, doesn’t need Harden and Harden wants to play for him.