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Sean Marks likely to consult a full range of Nets players on coaching choice

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Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images

Brian Lewis reports that when time comes for the Nets to make a final decision on their next head coach, expect Sean Marks to consult not just his superstars but a range of Nets players.

Lewis writes...

As Nets general manager Sean Marks begins his coaching search in earnest, superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be consulted. But they apparently won’t be the only ones...

Multiple sources have indicated he will likely touch base with other players Brooklyn has invested in long term, including DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie. One source suggested Caris LeVert as well.

Marks has been forthright in saying that KD and Kyrie will have a role in the selection (which will ultimately be made by him and Joe Tsai.)

“Yeah, I would say it would totally be not incredibly smart of us if we did not involve some of these key players in this decision. And that not only goes for Kevin,” Marks told WFAN early last month. “Kevin, Kyrie; we’re going to pick their brains on what they’re looking for in a leader, what they want in a coach, what they need. The guys have been brutally honest so far.”

Marks has also said that KD has been “very loud voice” in general.

“He continues to be a very loud voice in terms of where we’re going in the future and what we’re doing and I involve him like the other players and staff and how we’ll continue to build this team and how we move forward,” said Marks in talking with media.

On the coaching search, most of the Nets who traveled to the “Bubble” were effusive in their praise for Jacque Vaughn, with Caris LeVert, Garrett Temple, Joe Harris, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Jamal Crawford all volunteering comments to the media.

Many of the Nets veterans —and staff— have links to some of the bigger names in the search. Irving and Harris played for Tyronn Lue in Cleveland. As many as nine Nets executives and assistant coaches have worked for Gregg Popovich. Marks and Vaughn were both assistant coaches under Pop in San Antonio. Marks and Kidd overlapped as college players at UC Berkeley in the early 1990’s. Bret Brielmaier, who served as lead assistant in Orlando, has now worked under Vaughn, Popovich and Lue, winning a ring as a Cavs assistant coach in 2016.

The Nets stars and superstars will presumably have a role in other decisions. It was, after all, Irving’s comments about the Nets need to “add one more piece, two more pieces,” that first stirred the debate on whether the Nets need to add a “third star.”

More recently, KD has praised LeVert, even saying he was a big surprise to him.

“He is definitely better than I thought. He’s different. He can score that thing. He can pass it. He’s quick. His thing is about being efficient, and I think that’s what you’re seeing,” Durant said three weeks ago. “The shots he’s taking now, it’s like all of his lane. Not a lot of threes, a lot in the mid-range, getting to the cup. I think his IQ is what surprised me the most.”

Michael Scotto, now with Hoopshype, engaged a number of league executives, scouts and former Nets players on the issue of whether LeVert, particularly now after his performance in Orlando, should be dealt for a third star ... or be seen as the third star! Opinion was sharply divided.

“I love what Sean has done with that team, and he has a few choices to make,” one rival Eastern Conference executive told Scotto. “My theory is everyone is available for the right deal.”

“I think they can build with LeVert,” a Western Conference scout told Scotto. “He would be an ideal third option given his skill set. He might be better suited coming off the bench when Durant and Irving are back. With his ability and competitiveness, he can spearhead the second unit. That would be a tremendous luxury to have him leading your second unit. “

One former teammate said the list of players they’d take in exchange for LeVert is very short.

“I love Caris, that’s my guy, but if you can get Bradley Beal, you make that trade,” another of LeVert’s former teammates told HoopsHype. “Maybe even Jrue Holiday. Anybody besides that, I keep him.”

Of course, as Scotto notes, the Wizards don’t seem to have any willingness to trade Beal with John Wall coming back. And Holiday’s situation is cloudy as well in New Orleans.

The execs also note that LeVert’s value both to the Nets and on the trade block jumped during the “bubble” as teams saw his playmaking skills and consistency. And his contract is more than manageable —three years at $52.5 million, starting next season.

Meanwhile, Ian Begley writes that some inside the HSS Training Center are increasingly pessimistic about attracting Lue.

It’s unclear, specifically, why those members of the organization were pessimistic about the possibility of hiring Lue. And it’s entirely possible that the club has changed its mind on Lue.

But it’s worth keeping in mind as the Nets enter their process.

Of course, there’s going to be increased competition for the Clippers assistant from teams like the 76ers, Pelicans and possibly the Bulls.