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Is Ty Lue front-runner in Nets coaching sweepstakes?

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Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Tyronn Lue certainly checks off a lot of boxes for the Nets in their coaching search ... whenever it begins in earnest.

He has championship credentials, having won three rings, one coaching Kyrie Irving and LeBron James with the Cavs in 2016 and two playing with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 and 2001. He’s currently an assistant with the Clippers who are a championship contender this season. Overall, he’s been to the NBA Finals five times.

His history also suggests that he can deal with superstars and get the most out of them.

While Irving’s position on Lue is a mystery, Scoop B. Robinson, who often channels Irving, tweeted that reports he preferred Lue as next head coach are “‘absolute nonsense.” Indeed, there were reports that Irving and Lue didn’t get along at the end of Irving’s time in Cleveland.

Another member of the Cavs back then, Joe Harris, had kind things to say about Lue as well his one-time assistant, Phil Handy, this week. Handy, who’s been an assistant in the NBA Finals the last five years and is now with the Lakers, has also been mentioned as a possibility.

“They’re both excellent coaches, Ty Lue especially,” Joe Harris said. “Playing in this league, being an assistant for a long time, just the way he was able to relate with the players, especially just day-to day was pretty unique in terms of a coaching perspective. I always liked that about him, just his ability to jell and mesh with everybody.

“He seemed like, to me, to be one of those guys when he did play he was probably close with everybody in the locker room, just the way he was able to interact with every single guy on the team.”

Jared Dudley who played with the Clippers when Lue was an assistant coach, told Greg Logan he “would not be surprised” if the Nets hired Lue.

“T. Lue is a phenomenal coach who doesn’t get enough credit for his Xs and Os,” said Dudley.

“By the time he got there (in 2014 as associate head coach), he was prepared,” Dudley said. “What people don’t understand is how he holds the locker room. He could tell LeBron, ‘No, run it this way.’ He’s an ex-player, and T. Lue doesn’t care about having friction. He doesn’t mind telling Kyrie, ‘Go run the . . . play,’ or ‘Kevin (Love), I need you to box out.’

“He holds that accountability because he was a player and he has won a championship. If you look at all the players that have had T. Lue as a coach, they talk highly of him.”

Sean Marks declined to talk about Kenny Atkinson’s successor at his press conference announcing Atkinson’s departure. Nor has he or anyone else in the organization discussed the parameters for a coaching search or when it might begin. Now with the league suspended, those concerns are secondary to the health and care of players, employees and fans.