Nets GM Billy King said Lionel Hollins not on hot seat

Associated Press
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The Brooklyn Nets are bad. We knew they were going to be bad, they have no quality point guard play and holes throughout their roster. They don’t have great defenders.

Is this the coach’s fault? The answer to that question is often irrelevant, they get the blame.

Rumors have been swirling around the five boroughs (and beyond) that Nets coach Lionel Hollis is on the hot seat with the Nets at 6-15 and with a bottom five offense. Tuesday Nets’ GM Billy King said that is not the case, speaking with the YES Network before the Net’s tip-off (and win) against Houston. Here is what he said, via The Bergen Record.

King also pointedly denied a report from a Russian publication which said that the Nets had already decided to move on from Hollins, and were just holding onto him until they could find a replacement.

“It’s funny because I think the report said it was management,” King said. “And I’m management so there was no truth to that. Lionel and I are working hard every day. We’re discussing possibilities, things we can do on the court, off the court. I’ve talked to ownership and right now, Lionel is our coach and we’re working to try to turn this around.”

If the Nets decide to clean house, it likely will come this summer — and it could include King moving on, even though all he did was follow ownership’s orders on team building. As for the short term, what coach would want to walk into this Nets’ mess mid-season? How much could anyone turn this team around? If the Nets are going to get a new coach, in season or this summer, they need to ask themselves who they have got that’s better than Hollins? And what kind of team do they want to build?

King also said trades were possible.

“We’re going to explore options out there and look and see if there’s other players if we need to make a deal to bring guys in,” King said on the YES Network pregame show. “But we’re going to give this group a chance until we can find another option.”

There likely will be no trades in the NBA before Dec. 15, when players signed this summer can be moved. Outside of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (who is out a couple of months following surgery) everyone on the Brooklyn roster can be had. Guys such as Thaddeus Young will have teams at least making a call. The Nets are only going to be able to build via free agency and trades since they gave away all their picks. So expect rumors, but I’m not sure the Nets will get the value in return they are hoping to find.