Billy King on Paul Pierce: "We're in the middle of negotiating a deal for him"

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Billy King had a short stint on Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio Wednesday morning that offered little on the status of the coaching search, which appears to be both accelerating and pointing to Lionel Hollins as the Nets choice.

King was also asked about Paul Pierce's status and he said simply, "We're in the middle of negotiating a deal for him." On Tuesday afternoon, King told Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno that he was about to call Jeff Schwartz, Pierce's agent. The Nets are expected to offer Pierce a deal somewhere between $6 million and $8 million over no more than two years. He made $15.3 million last season.

Regarding Pierce, Roberts asked King Tuesday, "do you have a confidence that he wants to come back and play another year or two in Brooklyn?" The reply: "Yes."  He said when he talks to Schwartz, he will see who among the other NBA teams "made the calls to Pierce ... I won't take what I've read."

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reported Tuesday that Pierce will meet with other teams besides the Nets.

Both the Clippers and Bulls are also reported to have interest in the soon-to-be 37-year-old.

Pierce had his worst year since his rookie year statistically, being forced to play power forward after Brook Lopez went down in December.  With Lopez back, Shaun Livingston gone and a new coach, it's hard to figure where the 6'7" Pierce will get most of his minutes.

Also, in the interview, King said simultaneously looking for a coach while negotiating deals in free agency is tough because you need to know who your coaching candidate "likes on the roster, who they like in free agency." He gave no indication on how quickly the Nets will choose the coach.

He did say he wants a head coach who the team can build with long term, who can develop young talent and who is tough-minded.

On Jason Kidd, King told Golic and Greenberg he was aware, starting Wednesday, that Kidd wanted out of Brooklyn after failing to get the president of basketball operations job with the Nets.  Asked if management or ownership were close to firing Kidd after the 10-21 start, King replied, "Never."

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