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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Nets owner Joe Tsai personally recruited 1 notable free agent?

Joe Tsai looking on

May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Taiwanese businessman Joe Tsai (left) looks on during the second half of the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Tsai may have had his fingerprints all over one particular signing.

Veteran basketball reporter Marc Stein wrote this week in a post to Substack that the Brooklyn Nets owner Tsai made a personal recruiting pitch to Nets free agent acquisition Markieff Morris this summer. Morris, 33, signed a one-year, $2.9 million deal with Brooklyn earlier in September.

The veteran forward Morris is not too impactful of a basketball player any more. But he is a respected veteran who has made playoff runs with five different teams and won a title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020. Stein adds in his report that the Nets were “desperate” to bring in a veteran who could command the respect of volatile stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

As for Tsai, he became the full owner of the Nets in 2019 after initially purchasing a minority stake in the team two years earlier. We know that Tsai has a hands-on style (sometimes very openly so), and his reported personal recruitment of Morris here is just another example of that.

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