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Woj: Nets lose chief scout to Pistons

Gregg Polinsky 1

Adrian Wojnarowski reports Thursday that the Nets have lost their long-time chief scout, Gregg Polinsky, to the Pistons...

Polinsky, who has been with the Nets for nearly 20 years, survived two ownership changes and three GM’s, Rod Thorn, Billy King and Sean Marks. He and Stefanski worked together under Thorn in the early 2000’s. Stefanski, an advisor to Pistons ownership, seems destined for the President of Basketball Operations job in Detroit.

Polinsky been the Nets Director of Player Personnel, essentially chief scout, for 10 years and had the role of chief scout since 2004, He was hired as a Nets scout five years before that, around the time John Calipari was fired.

Although he has an office at HSS Training Center, he operates out of his home in Birmingham, Alabama and spends a lot of the college season on the road, primarily in the South. He has been a critical piece in the Nets Draft discussions, with the hiring of Gianluca Pascucci as director of global scouting and BJ Johnson as coordinator of player evaluation two years ago. Pascucci had been vice president of player personnel for the Houston Rockets before he joined the Nets; Johnson USA Basketball’s assistant men’s national team director.

In two interviews with an Alabama radio station in April and May, Polinsky laid out the Nets scouting process, starting with a database of 600 players at the beginning of the season, whittling the number down to a handful for Draft Night. In retrospect, Polinsky may have even hinted at the Nets interest in Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs.

“I can’t go into names, but I can talk about the talent there is in Europe,” he told the Tide 102.9 in Tuscaloosa. “In my own opinion ... I think there is two lottery picks there, possibly three, a guy who will be taken in the first two or three or four players in the draft (no doubt referring to Luka Doncic) and another kid there,” his voice trailing off as if he realized he might have said too much.

No word on who might replace Polinsky or whether the Nets would keep the same structure.