Just another day in quarantine until — BAM — Marc Stein of the NY Times hit the NBA world with a BIG development in the Nets coaching search:
Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and the incumbent interim coach Jacque Vaughn are among the names on the Nets' developing list of coaching candidates, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 23, 2020
Stein also noted that Tom Thibodeau “is believed to be solely a Knicks candidate and Golden State assistant coach Mike Brown is another name to monitor.
Jason Kidd is obviously the most notable inclusion. The greatest player in Nets NBA history, had an acrimonious divorce from the Nets in 2014 after just one season as coach. However, with new ownership in place and most of the front office turning over, it would seem Kidd has a fresh slate.
And, of course, an added benefit of Kidd as head coach would be his relationship with Giannis Antetokounmpo from their Milwaukee days. Antetokounmpo, a big Kidd fan, is set to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021 — that’s one way for the Nets to chase “sustained success” as Marks has vocalized as his goal for the franchise.
Jason Kidd had problems with Nets old management and old ownership. They're all gone. So no real surprise he's on list. He'd be on any smart team's list of head coaching candidates. And lets note that in 2021, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be a free agent.— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) April 23, 2020
Given the influence Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have nowadays, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Irving grew up a fan of those early 2000s New Jersey Nets teams led by Kidd. There’s no doubt a lot of respect there.
For now, don’t read too much into who isn’t mentioned by Stein. As Sean Marks has told members of the media, Ian Eagle and Chris Carrino, the Nets coaching search isn’t expected to really pick up until the season finishes — in some fashion.
Whenever the season finally runs its course, there could be a a few more worthy candidates thrown into the mix — Mike D’Antoni, Brett Brown, and why not even a call to Gregg Popovich? There’s nothing to lose.
Point being, expect the Nets hiring process to be exhaustive and extensive. Marks and the front office always make sure to do their due diligence — this is surely only the early stages of putting a list together with Stein reporting on some notable big names that will be given a shot.
As I wrote in my earlier piece sizing up the coaching landscape, Thibodeau never seemed like a Nets fit to me. Thibodeau has a reputation for overplaying his players, being a bit antiquated in his philosophies, not embracing analytics nearly enough, and feuding with his upper management. That’s not an ideal match with the Nets front office.
The Nets' process to name a full-time replacement for Kenny Atkinson is not expected to hit top speed until this season is either completed or canceled, but they have been collecting names and, at this juncture, Tom Thibodeau is believed to be solely a Knicks candidate— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 23, 2020
Brown, Golden State Warriors “associate head coach” and thus an NBA Champion, has been picking up steam lately. However, Brown was not mentioned by Stein. Again, don’t read too much into who’s not mentioned in these early stages. (Among those not mentioned is reported sleeper candidate, Lakers assistant Phil Handy.)
For a more detailed look into each candidate listed by Stein — and 12 others — check out my deep dive from last month about the potential options for Nets coach.