Nets have deal with Avery Johnson to become coach

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Thumbnail image for Ajohnson.jpgYou knew the little general was going to get a job somewhere this summer. Looks like he got a prime one.

ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting via twitter that the Nets have reached a verbal agreement with Avery Johnson on a contract to become their next head coach. The talks didn’t last long, which is not a shock as this is ultimately a negotiation with a billionaire, it probably wasn’t hard to reach a number Johnson is comfortable with.

The Hawks are said to still have interest in Johnson but they moved at a deliberate pace, and Johnson has found where he wants to be.

The Nets wanted a guy who knew how to win ad Johnson had success as a coach in Dallas, winning coach of the year in 2005 and taking the team to the NBA finals in 2006 (only to run into the Dwyane Wade machine). For the past couple of years he has been an analyst with ESPN.

Going to the Nets would reunite Johnson with point guard Devin Harris. This is a team that has a few good pieces, a new owner willing to spend, a lot of cap room and is moving to a new building in Brooklyn in a few years. This is a team on the rise and a great place to be coach right now. So long as the Nets start winning. Soon.

PBT Extra bold prediction: Is this Andrew Wiggins’ breakout season?

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Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.

Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.

Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.

Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question

Fred Hoiberg, Derrick Rose
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The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.

The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).

So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.

The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.

“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.

“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”

Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)

Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.

And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.

Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.