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Nets add veteran coach Will Weaver, promote Adam Caporn in finalizing staff

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Will Weaver, who has assistant coaching experience in the NBA and head coaching experience overseas, is joining Jacque Vaughn’s staff, per a press release Tuesday announcing the hires. The other hires — Kevin Ollie, Jay Hernandez, Ronnie Burrell and Corey Vinson — had all been reported in the last few weeks.

In addition, Adam Caporn, one of three holdovers on the eight-man staff, has a new role as director of player development, a job that’s been open since Adam Harrington left at the beginning of last season. Although it was not announced, NetsDaily has been told that Ollie will be Vaughn’s lead assistant.

Overall, player development is the bottom line for Vaughn’s newly constituted staff, with virtually the entire group having extensive development experience within the Nets and other NBA organizations as well as on national teams.

Weaver’s hire is a reunion for the Austin, Texas, native. He began as a special assistant to Kenny Atkinson in 2016, ultimately rising to assistant coach, then head coach of the Long Island Nets in 2018-19. Weaver took Long Island to the G League Finals and he was named G League Coach of the Year.

Weaver spent three seasons (2013-16) on the Philadelphia 76ers staff, first as a video coordinator and basketball operations assistant and then as special assistant to the head coach (2014-16). He also served as an assistant coach for two seasons (2020-22) with the Houston Rockets.

In his head coaching role, Weaver worked for a season (2019-20) as the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League, where he led the Kings to a first place finish in the regular season and a trip to the NBL Finals. Most recently, Weaver served as head coach of Paris Basketball in LNB Pro A, France’s first division, during the 2022-23 season. Weaver has also spent time as an assistant coach with the Australian national basketball team, including at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to Weaver, Caporn and Burrell are former Long Island Nets head coaches and both Weaver and Caporn have served as assistant coaches with the Australian national team. Caporn, in fact, will continue in that role this summer in the FIBA World Cup. He was an assistant in 2021 when Australia won the bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

It’s uncertain who will be the lead assistant although the press release does mention Ollie and Weaver first. Three of the assistants — Ollie, Weaver and Burrell — have head coaching experience, Ollie with UConn, winning the national championship in 2014; Weaver with both Long Island and his overseas gigs; and Burrell with Long Island this past season. Ollie also served as head coach and head of player development for Overtime Elite, the new professional league for 16-to-20 year olds. Two of his charges, Amen and Ausar Thompson, are expected to be drafted in the top 10 Thursday night at the NBA Draft.

Overall, the staff’s strength is development, a change from last season when Steve Nash’s assistants were more experienced, more about contending for a title. For example, Caporn told Chris Carrino last week was asked about his philosophy of development. Drawing on his experience as a G League coach, here’s what Caporn had to say:

“No 1 goal is helping everyone get better, is development and when everyone wants to win and you don’t have the same pressure, it is s really liberating and enables one of the key things, an environment that allows a little trial and error,” said Caporn.

“We know that learning and development where a player or an athlete or any learner is in a safe environment can make mistakes, can intrinsically learn, is asked questions, is challenged, is figuring things out on their own in a sense in the right environment is very, very powerful.”