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Reading tea leaves —and real estate listings— for hints to Nets coaching search

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Gregg Popovich has put his 9,500 square foot home in San Antonio up for sale! You know what that means! With his kids grown, he wants to downsize? The market, which he was unhappy with last year, is likely to be kinder now? Or he’s headed to a townhouse in Prospect Heights?

No one is saying, but those reading the tea leaves (or real estate listings) think they see another sign Popovich will be abandoning San Antone for Brooklyn. Well, here are the details from Brian Lewis...

The Spurs coach had actually attempted to sell his 9,600 square foot San Antonio abode last year, but pulled it off the market on Jan. 1, 2020. Now according to Outkick it’s been listed again at a reduced price. ($3 million.)

That alone certainly isn’t an indicator that the legendary Spurs coach with five NBA rings is leaving San Antonio after his streak of 22 straight years as a playoff team ended. R.C. Buford, the Spurs GM and long time partner, told CNBC’s Jabari Young earlier in the week that he’s “under the assumption” that the 71-year-old Pop will be back coaching.

It’s just the latest mystery in what will likely be a secrecy-shrouded coaching search for Kenny Atkinson’s replacement. On Wednesday, Shams Charania revealed that the Nets had formally interviewed Jacque Vaughn who’s seeking to make his temporary job as head coach permanent. Shams noted that Vaughn had “impressed” ownership. And Doc Rivers, Tyronn Lue’s boss with the Clippers, endorsed Lue.

Lue, who took the Cavaliers to three straight NBA FInals — winning it all in 2016, has been connected to the Nets opening as well as those in Philadelphia, New Orleans and possibily Chicago.

“He’s been great. He’s been great. I’m glad it is. He deserves it,” Rivers said Wednesday via Zoom. “It’s a joke that he’s not a head coach, but it’s to my advantage that he’s not.”

With the Clippers expected to go deep in the playoffs, Rivers said he would have no problem if Lue took a few days off for interviews (which would have to be conducted over Zoom anyway.)

“I had the same situation in Boston with [Tom] Thibodeau,” Rivers told Lewis. “Two years in a row he was mentioned with every job. The first year he turned most of them down, and then the second year he took it. I remember Tom, we were in the finals with the Lakers, I allowed him to do an interview.

“I don’t think you should ever stand in someone’s way No. 1, and I think guys can handle doing both. Tibbs did, and so is Ty Lue. He’s been great.”

There’s no word whether anyone other than Vaughn has been interviewed, but there remain other names out there, including Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and 76ers assistant Ime Udoka.