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Nets Notebook: Brooklyn falls to Philadelphia 107-86 in season finale; Here’s what comes next

PHILADELPHIA — The Nets’ season came to a merciful end with Sunday’s 107-86 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.

While Brooklyn was severely undermanned playing without Dennis Schroder, Cam Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dennis Smith Jr., Day’Ron Sharpe and others, their final loss of the season followed an eerily familiar formula.

The Nets played well early to keep the score respectable, but the 76ers — with their superior talent — eventually woke up and ran away with it. Brooklyn shot just 38.6% in the loss, committed 13 turnovers and was outrebounded 57-42. It ends the 2023-24 season with an abysmal 32-50 record.

Rookie forward Noah Clowney, who ended the season on an incredibly high note, had 16 points and four rebounds in his third straight start. Cam Thomas actually had the team-high in scoring with 18 points but did it on a 5-of-12 clip.

Tyrese Maxey led Philadelphia with 26 points, three rebounds and three assists. The 76ers were without Joel Embiid on Sunday but were still on the healthier side in terms of player availability.

And that is a wrap on Nets basketball until training camp begins in the fall. Brooklyn’s 50 losses were its most in a season since 2017-18. That was also the last time it failed to reach the postseason.

Sean Marks To Remain GM

Sean Marks will remain general manager of the Nets next season despite rumors that his job was in jeopardy after a disappointing 2023-24 campaign, according to reports.

It has also been reported that Marks will hire Brooklyn’s next head coach after the franchise fired Jacque Vaughn during the All-Star break. The Nets went 11-17 during Kevin Ollie’s tenure as interim head coach.

This will be the seventh head coaching hire since the Nets moved to Brooklyn in 2012 and the fourth of Marks’ tenure as GM. The Nets fired Kenny Atkinson during the 2019-20 season, then hired Steve Nash, who was fired at the beginning of the 2022-23 season. Vaughn replaced Nash in November of 2022 but was fired in February after a 21-33 start.

Brooklyn has reached the postseason five times under Marks but has not advanced past the second round. Of course, the Nets’ best season under Marks came in 2020-21, when Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden led the team to a 48-24 record.

Nets’ Head Coaching Search Nearing Its End

Marks promised an extensive coaching search when Vaughn was fired back in February. Well, it appears that search will not bleed into the summer months.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Nets have already narrowed their pool of candidates down to three finalists: Former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, Sacramento associate head coach Jordi Fernandez, and Phoenix associate head coach Kevin Young.

Charania reported that Nets owner Joe Tsai will be holding in-person meetings with these three finalists in the near future. He added that Ollie has been considered for the job, along with several others around the league, and called Brooklyn’s head coaching vacancy “an appealing proposition to prospective candidates” because of the team’s future assets and salary cap space.

Budenholzer, a two-time NBA Coach of the Year winner, has a 484-317 record as a head coach in the league and led the Bucks to an NBA title in 2021. Fernandez, a defensive-minded tactician, has been with the Kings since 2022 and also serves as head coach of Canada’s men’s national team. Young has served as associate head coach of the Suns since 2021.

While Budenholzer is obviously the most experienced of the three finalists, Fernandez and Young are viewed as rising stars and two of the better assistants in the league.