Whenever the Memphis Grizzlies’ season ends — which could be sooner rather than later if they don’t start cutting off Tony Parker at the point of attack, but that’s another post — Lionel Hollins is going to be a popular guy.
Hollins’ contract is up as coach of the end of this season, and while he and the Grizzlies management have plans to do a new deal a number of teams are looking to jump into that breech.
The Clippers are one of those teams — with Vinny Del Negro gone and a team on the verge of contending, they want a veteran coach and at the top of the list is the guy that out-coached Del Negro and sent the Clippers on vacation, reports the well connected Mark Heisler.
If you believe some insightful NBA officials, it’s simply because the Bucks are playing the waiting game. They are biding their time until the Memphis Grizzlies’ season ends and they can talk to Grizzlies free-agent in-waiting coach Lionel Hollins.
The Brooklyn Nets also are said to be interested in Hollins.
All that said, Hollins likely stays put. The new ownership wanted to get to know him but in the middle of the season they talked about a new contract and an extension. Ownership’s mistake was saying they didn’t want that to become a distraction during the season, and now Hollins is a hot name. Still, he has said he wants to finish what he started.
What could change his mind is a larger paycheck. The Nets are willing to write a big one, but would the old-school Hollins take that to coach a roster that is good but pretty much stuck there (and in the same conference as the Heat and improving Pacers)? The Clippers have the kind of roster that might intrigue Hollins, but how big a check would Sterling write and for how many years?
The Bucks… I like that they are trying. Good for them.