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Chris Mannix talks Lionel Hollins, Mike Conley, Joe Johnson AND Randy Ayers

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Chris Mannix, known to have good sources in the Nets organization, says that Lionel Hollins "situation bears watching" and notes the Nets hiring of former 76er coach Randy Ayers as a scout.

Asked by a fan about Hollins situation, Mannix replied...

Hollins's situation bears watching. The Nets have been competitive in many of their losses and the front office believes the team is close to turning a corner. Not a run-towards-the-playoffs corner, mind you, but one that gives them a chance to be respectable. But losses are losses and Hollins's far to frequent misuse of Brook Lopez has not gone unnoticed.

The Nets recently hired Randy Ayers as a scout, and though officials insist Ayers is not an emergency replacement for Hollins, there is respect for Ayers's coaching within the organization. Brooklyn has a tough stretch to finish the month: Back-to back with Boston, trips to Oklahoma City and Cleveland and a home date with Detroit. Will Hollins survive that gauntlet? Probably. But the team will need to play much better during a home-heavy schedule in December.

Seems like someone is setting up a straw man, then knocking him down.

Ayres coached the 76ers under Billy King in 2003-04, finishing with a 21-31 record as a mid-season replacement. Since then, he's been an assistant coach for the Magic, Wizards, 76ers and Pelicans. He lost his job in New Orleans last summer when Monty Williams was replaced.  Ayres was NCAA Coach of the Year at Ohio State 25 years ago.

Mannix also noted that Hollins could help Brooklyn recruit Mike Conley Jr. away from Memphis. The Grizzlies are not the team they have been, Mannix notes, and wonders if their owner is committed.

if Memphis owner Robert Pera messes around during contract talks it could open the door for another team—Brooklyn, currently coached by Lionel Hollins, a close Conley ally, and with a gaping hole at point guard is expected to be aggressive—to pull him away.

Mannix also opined on the state of affairs at shooting guard, saying Bojan Bogdanovic is safe, but the Nets would like to get rid of Joe Johnson, although that becomes increasingly difficult.

I don’t think Bojan Bogdanovic is going anywhere. He’s a young, rising guard tied to a reasonable contract. I think the Nets would love to be rid of Johnson, but his awful shooting early in the season (34% from the field, 25% from three) makes him impossible to move, even with his massive expiring contract.