Lionel Hollins can’t enjoy free agency for another month

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The Grizzlies didn’t give Lionel Hollins a contract extension, but since talks fizzled, Hollins helped Memphis to the Western Conference Finals and its finest season in franchise history. As a reward, Hollins can become a coaching free agent and use his newfound leverage to get a good contract in a desirable destination.

But if Hollins goes that route, he must wait.

Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

Hollins said he doesn’t expect to be granted permission to speak to other teams before his contract expires on June 30.

Obviously, this gives the Grizzlies a significant leg up. Not every team will want to wait another month for just the chance of acquiring Hollins’ services.

But one team that’s reportedly hot on the Hollins trail – the Brooklyn Nets – might be inclined to weather the delay. The Nets already have a mostly finished roster, and even if they didn’t, they don’t have much flexibility to change it now.

At this point, most of all, Brooklyn needs a coach. When the Nets let P.J. Carlesimo go, Brooklyn general manager Billy King said, via Bontemps:

“We’re going to take our time,” the GM said. “If it takes a month, it’ll take a month.”

That was nearly a month ago. For Hollins, it might take another month.