Though I’m sure all of the ’08-’09 Nets are eager to erase any and all semblances of the nightmare season that was, they’ll have to wait just a bit longer before the new coaching regime can officially begin. According to Al Iannazzone of NorthJersey.com, Rod Thorn hasn’t even spoken to the coaching candidates already with NBA teams, and will not be interviewing any prospective coaches until after the lottery.
This is definitely the wisest strategy. As bright as the Nets future looks with the current core — Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, and Yi Jianlian have a combined 14 years of NBA experience, nine if you exclude Harris — things are set to be even better next season with a top pick in the draft and plenty of cap room to play with. Internal improvement and external additions should make the Nets a much improved team next season. Plus, I’m not sure New Jersey could go 12-70 again if they tried.
Iannozzone also cited unnamed sources in asserting that Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau, and Villanova’s Jay Wright are the lead candidates for the job. He also claims that should Erik Spoelstra be forced out as the head coach of the Miami Heat, the Nets would have some interest in him as well. That’s a solid group of candidates, and one of them will surely be lured to the helm by the possibility of coaching Harris (and/or John Wall or Evan Turner), Brook Lopez, and a free agent acquisition to be named at a later date.