Rod Thorn has had a list of coaching candidates for a while, but now that Mikhail Prokhorov is officially his boss, he can finally take action. So when FanHouse reported Thursday morning that Thorn had reached out to Avery Johnson's agent on Wednesday--apparently with the blessing of Johnson's former point guard, Devin Harris--it was no surprise.
Not so fast. By Thursday afternoon, Al Iannazzone was reporting that we might be talking overreach rather than reach. "Our understanding was a conversation was had at some point and it wasn’t initiated by the Nets," wrote Iannazzone, clearly suggesting it was Johnson or his agent who made the call. In fact, writes Iannazzone and Fred Kerber, don't expect any real conversations until after next Tuesday's Draft Lottery.
Then, on the ESPN post-game show following the Celtics' elimination of the Cavaliers, Johnson extolled the Nets' chances of nabbing LeBron James. He noted the presence of Harris ("who I coached") and Brook Lopez, a lottery pick and plenty of cap space. His fellow analyst, Jamal Mashburn, added that the Nets need a coach and Johnson would be a great choice. "No, No, No," laughed Johnson.