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Nets extend Jacque Vaughn contract for multiple years

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jacque Vaughn who led the Nets to an 18-2 stretch earlier this season and is now tasked with an improbable rebuild, has had his contract as head coach extended for “multiple years,” the Nets announced Tuesday morning.

Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the news that was then confirmed by press release a minute later.

The reports by Woj and others did not provide details on the length of the contract or his compensation. He was reportedly making more than a million dollars a year as an assistant. Woj later reported that the contract runs through 2026-27, meaning four years after this one.

In the press release, Sean Marks heaped praise on Vaughn...

“Jacque has made an immediate and immeasurable impact on our entire organization since assuming the role of head coach earlier this season,” said Marks. “On the court, he’s clearly demonstrated his leadership through his ability to connect and communicate at a very high level while displaying tremendous instincts for the game. As a person, they don’t come any better than Jacque. His character is impeccable, and there is not a better representative for our team and our borough. We are thrilled to have Jacque lead the Nets for years to come.”

At Wednesday’s media availability, Vaughn responded to the news.

“Extremely thankful and excited,” said Vaughn. “An organization such as ours chose to have you continue going forward w/ this group. For me, I’m excited about the challenge ahead of growing with this group, getting the the most out of this group & pushing this group.”

Not long after the Nets put out their press release, Joe Tsai retweeted this from the Nets account...

It’s the third time this season that the Nets have upgraded Vaughn’s situation. When Steve Nash was fired after seven games, Vaughn was named interim head coach, then was given the head coaching job — and a two-year deal — a week later. The Nets had hoped to sign Ime Udoka as head coach after Nash was let go but were deterred by league officials. Udoka, who took the Celtics to the NBA Finals last year, had been suspended by Boston for the season in September after it was determined that he had had inappropriate relations with women employees. He has since been dismissed.

Vaughn, who joked back then that he was the “write-in candidate,” had remarkable success with the Nets veterans, going 18-2 in December, the best month in Nets history. But after Kevin Durant sprained his MCL and Kyrie Irving rejected the Nets contract offer, things fell apart and ultimately both players were traded to Phoenix and Dallas respectively.

Now, Vaughn is tasked with using the assets returned in those trades — Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith — to rebuild the Nets. In the four games since the trades, the Nets are 2-2 and Vaughn’s overall record this season is 32-19. With the All-Star Break ending, the Nets resume play Friday in Chicago vs. the Bulls.

Brooklyn is currently 34-24 and the fifth seed in the East behind the Celtics, Bucks, 76ers and Cavaliers.

Vaughn has been with the Nets organization since 2016 when Marks took over as Nets GM, first as lead assistant to Kenny Atkinson, then in the same capacity under Nash. Previously, he had been the head coach in Orlando where he was 58-158 as head coach of the Magic.

The move also could signal that Marks job is safe, despite suggestions by some that the Nets failed experiment with the “Big Three” could lead to his departure. As Alex Schiffer of The Athletic wrote Tuesday afternoon...

My instant reaction to the news is this says more about general manager Sean Marks than Vaughn. I have a hard time believing the team’s GM is going anywhere despite questions about his future if he’s handing out contract extensions to his coach.

In addition to general manager, Marks is also an alternate governor of the Nets franchise, along with Oliver Weisberg, CEO of the Tsai family investment vehicle, and Sam Zussman, CEO of BSE Global, the Nets parent company.