So it's the Nets' offseason. The players have gone fishing, leaving management to the task of setting the table for success in the 2010-2011 season. Proky is the new owner, so money seemingly isn't an issue any longer. Brooklyn is proceeding. The Rock is the venue for next season. Lots and lots of cap space. So with that setting, Rod Thorn has a handful of things that he either SHOULD or COULD do this summer. Let's talk about both points and rate his effectiveness thus far.
1. Hire a coach. Grade: D.
By far one of the biggest decisions of the off-season. Get this one wrong and poof goes the season. What exactly has Rod done so far? From media accounts, Rod has interviewed (maybe) a handful of candidates. Avery Johnson seems to be under serious consideration. Thibs was, but he decided to accept the Bulls position. For some odd reason, Rod floated a passing interest in Mike Brown (yeah, great way to lure LeBron, ya think). No other candidate is generating much heat, that we know of, at least. In truth, there have been more leaks about possible coaching candidates than actual activity. And here we are a mere 17 days before the Draft.
What we do know is that Rod doesn't appear close to naming a permanent coach. In fact, if the season were to start today, Kiki would be coach (fainting). Rod appears to be taking a "let's wait until the Finals are over" approach - which is laden with risks, unless he really really thinks that Phil Jackson or Doc Rivers will be interested. I, for one, doubt that either of them would have an interest, other than to enhance their next contract negotiations with their respective teams. What is Rod's so-called possible "surprise?" Coach K said no thanks. JVG said no thanks. Izzo is about to get an offer from the Cavs. Rod obviously isn't super committed to either Thibs or Avery or else he wouldn't be stringing them along. Rod is either senile and crazy. Or crazy like a fox.
So Thorn gets a "D" in my books for the moment on how he's played the coach hiring decision. However, I'm willing to change that grade to an "A" if he pulls a bunny out of his hat.
2. Handling the Draft Prospect Workouts. Grade C
Philly is reported to have arranged a workout with John Wall, and then a separate workout with Favors versus Cousins. Meanwhile, Rod has arranged for individual workouts for potential 27th and 31st picks. Uhmmm. Earth to Rod.
3. Reorganizing the Front Office. Grade C-
If not for Proky's announced front office moves, I would give Rod a worse grade. C'mon! What is Kiki still doing anywhere near the organization? Shouldn't security have escorted him out the building, with his boxes in hand? Has Rod announced any new front office moves of late? I thought that I read that there were going to be some staffing increases related to scouting. Not sure what Rod is doing on this front. How about announcing that we won't be sharing a summer league team with Philly and that we'll be staffing that effort fully?
4. Free Agent Acquisitions. Grade Incomplete.
We'll see what happens after July 1st. These will be the make or break decisions. Either Rod makes us a contender. Or we wind up being the Pistons. Spending tons of $$ and cap space for nothing special.
All in all, Rod has gotten off to a slow to middling start, but has the ability to rebound nicely if he gets himself into high gear with the right decisions.