Report: Nets were leaning towards Bryan Colangelo over Sean Marks in 2016

In 2016, the Nets came to a realization that Billy King and their win-now attitude wasn't going to work. They had sunk everything into trying to win as soon as possible and the result was a broken roster with no draft picks to speak of. A reset was necessary.

So that's what Brooklyn did. It cut ties with everything and hired a young unknown in Sean Marks to take over the front office and rebuild a destroyed franchise. However, there was a possibility of Brooklyn going in a different direction. One that could have changed how the NBA looks today. Before a meeting with Spurs executive R.C. Buford at All-Star weekend, the Nets were leaning toward hiring current 76ers president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo. Per Zach Lowe of ESPN:

As the league descended upon Toronto for All-Star Weekend in February 2016, the Nets were leaning toward hiring Bryan Colangelo over Marks, according to sources familiar with the process. 

At the time, Colangelo was still without a front office position. However, he did have previous experience as general manager of the Raptors. In the end, the Nets decided to go with Marks because of the praise he received from executives like Buford and Bob Myers. Buford even went so far as to tell Brooklyn that they might not let them hire Marks away if they didn't agree to let him do it his way. 

During All-Star Saturday night, Razumov and R.C. Buford, then Marks' boss as the Spurs' GM, had a long talk in the chairman's suite inside the Air Canada Centre, according to several sources. Buford's message was clear: The Spurs might not grant Marks permission to take the job unless he would get to do it his way. Several other executives, including Bob Myers, the Warriors' GM, also praised Marks in chats with Razumov that weekend, sources say.  

The pedigree Marks had built up in such a short time was impressive, but an interesting what if has to do with the Nets overall goal of a rebuild. Philadelphia eventually hired Colangelo after former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie resigned. His resignation was related to the NBA stepping in and forcing the Sixers to be more competitive.

There is a weird alternate timeline somewhere that has Colangelo working for the Nets, because they opted to stay competitive over a rebuild. As a result, Philadelphia has a different name in the front office. Maybe it's still Hinkie, or perhaps it's Marks himself unless he was hired somewhere else already. One thing is for sure, both franchises would look very different right now had Brooklyn gone with Colangelo.

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