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GM Sean Marks: Nets not tanking now that they finally have their own first-round pick

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MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 13: Ed Davis #17 of the Portland Trail Blazers dunks in the third quarter against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 13, 2017 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

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For the first time in five years, the Nets will enter the season with their own first-round pick.

But that doesn’t mean Brooklyn will tank.

Brian Lewis of the New York Post:

File this under: What else is he supposed to say?

But Sean Marks already backed up this statement through action.

The Nets kept their top seven players (by win shares) from last year’s 28-win team: Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Joe Harris, Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert. Trading Jeremy Lin weakens the roster for next season, but the returning Nets should more than make up for that with their steps forward.

Maybe the new, flatter lottery odds pushed Marks toward this strategy. Mostly, I think this young roster is just too good to sink too low in the standings. So, Marks went the other way and signed helpful veterans Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier, making Brooklyn even better – and, if all goes well, more appealing to 2019 free agents.

The Nets might even challenge for a playoff spot. I don’t think they’ll make it, but it’s not as if the bar in the Eastern Conference will be exceptionally high.