It may be early in the Nets coaching search, but Billy King said he, his staff and ownership will meet later Tuesday to see if they "have to go further" than Lionel Hollins, who has emerged as the team's top target.
"We've just started the process," King told Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno on WFAN. "And I let everyone know we did have dinner last night and we met again today. The meetings went well. So now after I finish with you guys, i will meet with staff and talk with ownership and then we'll look at our list and see if he have to go further because we have a list we'd like to through if we need to."
As for timing, King said, after a pause, "I'm not sure. I don't foresee it being long. I don't foresee it being today."
King would not disclose any other names on the list but said one candidate had already taken himself out of the running before he dined with Hollins, the former Grizzlies coach, Monday night. As for Mark Jackson, who Roberts and Benigno kept pressing him on, King wouldn't budge saying only Jackson is a "very good friend." He also declined to comment when asked if Kevin Ollie, the UConn coach and also a friend, was the candidate he called.
He declined to discuss Ollie specifically, but when asked if he would hire a college coach, King responded, "I think you go for the best coach. who you think can do the job."
As for the Nets' free agents, Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston, King said he and Jeff Schwartz, who reps both players, have been "playing phone tag" but he hopes to speak with them Tuesday as well. "That's my next call," he said.
Regarding Pierce, Roberts asked King, "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." King said he expects Livingston's decision will come down to money not his relationship with Jason Kidd.
As for Kevin Garnett returning, King reiterated, "I don't know many times I've got to say it. I say whenever anybody asks me, Yes! He's planning on coming back. He's under contract and I expect him to be back.
In the last several days, King said, Garnett "asked who some of the guys we're looking and I told him and he said fine." King said at a media availability Tuesday morning that he had had a similar texting conversation with Deron Williams.
Asked about any minutes restriction for Brook Lopez, King said it wasn't his decision ... and it was premature. "I have no idea at this point It's July. Let him go through the rehab process and let the doctors evaluate him before the season and they can make that determination. I don't think at this point it's fair to put any kind of minutes restrictions on him." King added that Deron Williams will be ready for camp and will meet with the doctor "in a week or two."
King said little about the Nets decision not to re-sign Andray Blatche. "We had our reasons," was all King would say."
On the three rookies -- Markel Brown, Xavier Thames and Cory Jefferson, King said he thought all had a chance to make the Nets roster, but "if we see that they may not, we'll have them go overseas and play so we keep their rights." (In that case, the Nets couldn't sign the players, then cut them before sending them overseas. They'd have to hold off signing them while arranging landing spots in Europe.)
"We still need another point guard whether Shaun comes back or not," added King, talking about the point guard situation. "If Shaun and Deron are starting, even if you have Teague and Gutierrez, I'd like to get another veteran, maybe not an older veteran but a guy who's been in the league and has a little experience just to have another combination of guards there."
Asked specifically about Jameer Nelson, cut by Orlando Monday, King said, "I'm not sure. I don't know. He's on the list."
Finally, King was asked about the status of Lawrence Frank. He said the two had lunch about "two and a half weeks ago," but when asked by Roberts, "Could he be, could he be a candidate for this job?" King responded, "I'm not going to reveal any of the candidates till we interview them."
- Interview with Billy King (Audio) - Evan Roberts & Joe Benigno - WFAN
- King Talks Jason Kidd, Nets Future (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Mannix: Signs "point to agreement" between Hollins & Nets - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Lionel Hollins...Former Memphis Coach at Top of Nets' Wish List - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
Nets General Manager Wants to Move Quickly to Replace Jason Kidd - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times