For the past couple of weeks, there's been rumors that the Nets have a "mystery man," a "surprise" in line for their open coaching job. Suddenly on Thursday, it appeared there MIGHT be a name to attach to those two descriptions.
George Karl, coach of the year this past season, is a free agent. The Denver Nuggets, having already lost their Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri to the Raptors, have told Karl they will not be extending his contract and that he can look for new work. That new work will not be in Brooklyn, according to several reports. The Nets appear to be focused on Brian Shaw.
Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news.
In final year of deal, Karl was pushing for a contract extension, and ownership wasn't prepared to give it to him, source tells Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 6, 2013
Woj didn't explain why the Nets would only be "possibly" interested, but Tim Bontemps and later Peter Vecsey tweeted that the Nets are NOT interested.
Sounds like the Nets will not be calling George Karl. Hearing there isn't much interest on their end.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 6, 2013
In a subsequent article, Bontemps reiterated the lack of Nets interest, citing a "league source." The reason: "His career playoff record is 80-105, and he's lost in the first round 13 of 21 trips, including this year."
Woj added Thursday afternoon that the Nets will not pursue Karl, that they are focusing on Brian Shaw.
As Brooklyn's coaching search remains focused on Indiana assistant Brian Shaw, the Nets will not pursue George Karl, league sources tell Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 6, 2013
Even if the Nets don't pursue Karl, his arrival on the scene will effect the Nets search, wrote Bontemps.
The biggest impact Karl’s newfound unemployment seems like it will have on the Nets opening is in increasing the competition for the top coaching candidates on the market. The Nuggets now rival both the Nets and Clippers for having the most desirable job on the market,
Indeed, Ken Berger tweeted the Nuggets have asked the Pacers for permission to interview Shaw.
The Nuggets have asked for and received permission to interview Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw, league source tells @cbssports.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 6, 2013
Meanwhile, Marc Stein of ESPN suggested that the Grizzlies and Nuggets could wind swapping coaches.
One source close to process says "trade" between Denver and Memphis is now conceivable where Karl takes over Grizz and Hollins joins Nuggets— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 6, 2013
- Source: Nuggets fire coach George Karl - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo! Sports
- Karl fired by Nuggets, but Nets don't have much interest: source - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Will Nets go after George Karl? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Top landing spots for George Karl - Marc Stein - ESPN Insider
- Which teams will pass on Karl? - Joe Kaiser - ESPN Insider