Sam Mitchell Could Be Johnson's Top Aide

AP

ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell will be interviewed this week by the Nets as a potential top assistant to Avery Johnson, who wants at least one former head coach on the bench with him in New Jersey. Mitchell, NBA Coach of the Year in 2007, has been out of work since being fired by Toronto in 2008.

"Being an assistant would be fine," Mitchell told the Toronto Sun recently. "But I want to make sure it’s in a good place -- a team that not only has a chance to win, but to be with someone who brings something different to me, where I can actually learn something."

The hire, if it comes about, would put two coaches of the year on the Nets bench next season, a season after someone with no head coaching experience, Kiki Vandeweghe, ran the team for most of the season.  Rod Thorn told reporters Tuesday he would have no problem recommending anyone from the previous staff but that it would be up to Johnson. He added they're just starting to interview potential candidates, among them Joe Prunty of the Blazers.

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