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Lionel Hollins plans on being "very, very realistic" in coaching talks

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Lionel Hollins says he wants to be back in Memphis next year, but plans on being "very, very realistic" about his future. He notes as well that no one from the Grizzlies has approached him about that future.

Meanwhile, the man who will negotiate a contract with Hollins, CEO Jason Levien said of the coach with the best record in Grizzlies history, "we admire the job he's done."

Doesn't exactly sound like a love affair or a done deal, does it?

"Hopefully, I will be here," Hollins said Wednesday. "I love the guys. I love this city and the fans and everybody associated with the team. But we've got to be very, very realistic in what the future holds."

And that wasn't the end of it. When Hollins was asked if he “may” negotiate with other teams if the Grizzlies don’t present a satisfactory offer, he said, “Not 'may.' Will. We can be clear about that one.”

Levien was complimentary but non-committal. "Certainly, we admire the job he's done. He's been very helpful and very positive," Levien said, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Among the things Hollins reportedly wants to know before making a commitment is what Levien plans to do with the roster. Levien traded away Rudy Gay on Jan. 30, the second trade clearing up space away from the luxury tax threshold. That's not something Hollins would have to worry about with Mikhail Prokhorov, at least for the foreseeable future.

The Grizzlies must also decide whether they want to pay Tony Allen, a two-time All-Defensive team member, retain Jerryd Bayless, who has a team option, and trade Zach Randolph who is owed $34 million over the next two years.

Not everyone thinks the Nets would hire Hollins. Peter Vecsey, who has a good track record on reading the Nets' thinking, tweeted early Thursday morning that Hollins may not be what the Nets want in a coach.