The Brooklyn Nets have lost eight of their last 10 games. They’re currently half a game out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference and things aren’t looking to get better anytime soon. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen for a team that’s spent so much money on big-name talent and traded so many draft picks for veterans.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ohm Youngmisuk report that the organization is looking at areas of improvement, possibly including the head coaching position:
The Brooklyn Nets, increasingly worried about a recent lack of competitiveness, have launched an in-season evaluation of various facets of the team, including new coach Lionel Hollins, according to league sources.
The Nets lost consecutive road games last week to the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz by 39 and 35 points, respectively, sparking concern within the organization about whether Hollins’ message is getting through. It’s just the fifth time in NBA history that a team has lost back-to-back games by 35 points or more.
Nets ownership, sources said, is monitoring the situation closely, with Brooklyn having just fallen out of the East’s top eight after a 2-10 slide that coincides with the franchise being up for sale.
Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix, meanwhile, reports that Hollins is not on the hot seat and is not in danger of losing his job.
Lionel Hollins job is safe with Brooklyn, multiple league sources tell http://t.co/4CvkoWUQmZ. Nets have no intention of firing Hollins.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) January 27, 2015
The truth of the matter is, the Nets’ roster is so stuck from a talent and flexibility standpoint that a coaching change wouldn’t help things. They’ve been discussing trades involving Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez with various teams, but there’s nothing imminent and it’s hard to believe this team isn’t simply what it is right now, regardless of coach.
Since buying the team in 2010, Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King have mortgaged the future so thoroughly that there isn’t much to work with in the event that the team is sold and coaching and front-office changes do take place. Those albatross contracts have between two and three years left, they owe this year’s pick to the Atlanta Hawks in a pick swap, and several more picks to the Boston Celtics. Unless they can convince a big-name free agent to sign in 2016, like Kevin Durant, they’re stuck with what they’ve built.