UPDATE: Marc Stein reports that the Nets are wrapping up a deal with Lionel Hollins to be their next head coach:

ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Nets are "closing in" on hiring former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.

Stein is also adding that the Nets and Hollins are hammering out a multi-year contract that will pay him at least $4-million annually.

In the 2012-13 season, his final with the Grizzlies, Hollins led the team to 56 wins and to the Western Conference Finals. His Grizzlies saw the playoffs in each of last three years with the team. He was let go due to "philosophical differences" between him and ownership.

In the ESPN New York article, Stein says:

Sources say the Nets wanted to move quickly in the wake of the Kidd saga and lasered in on Hollins immediately, meeting with him Monday and Tuesday.

Hollins has been a favorite of Nets officials for some time and was pursued by Brooklyn to serve as an assistant to Kidd after the in-season departure of Lawrence Frank, but the former Grizzlies coach was determined to wait for a head-coaching opportunity. Hollins was also chased hard this spring by the Houston to serve as the top aide to Rockets coach Kevin McHale in the event that he didn't land a top position.

Nets general manager Billy King, during an appearance Wednesday on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike," said experience would be key when making the team's next head-coaching hire.

"One, I think we're looking for experience, someone we'll build with for a long time," King said. "Someone who can develop young players, develop veterans and have a tough mindset. But someone also who has the experience who can take us to where we want to go."

On Tuesday, King praised Hollins' work in Memphis.

"If you look at track record and what he did in Memphis, they consistently got better every year," he said.

A deal with Hollins would cap a tumultuous week for the Nets.

Stay tuned.

 

Though there's no official deal yet, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that signs point toward an agreement forthcoming between the Brooklyn Nets and top coaching candidate Lionel Hollins:

With free agents quickly making decisions in the NBA moratorium period, it makes sense that the Nets want to push their coaching decision through quickly. But that doesn't mean this will be done tonight or tomorrow, especially if they want to do their due diligence.

 

Brooklyn Nets free agent guard Shaun Livingston will head to the Golden State Warriors for a three-year deal worth approximately $16 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The deal is for the full mid-level exception.

It was unlikely that the Nets would retain Livingston, given their ability to only offer him the taxpayer mid-level exception, worth roughly $10 million over three years. Brooklyn's inability to sign Livingston to a bigger deal was a major factor in his departure, according to David Aldridge:

The third deal is partially guaranteed, according to a report by USA TODAY SPORTS.

Livingston had the best season of his career in Brooklyn, averaging 8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 26 minutes per game. He also put up career highs in games played, games started, steals, steals per game, points, and player efficiency rating.

Go get 'em, Livingston. For Warriors fans, check out our exclusive feature with Livingston, in which he explains how his upbringing as a biracial kid in a city largely separated on the lines of racial and social classes, below. He also breaks down how he sees the floor in real time.

The Anatomy of Perspective: Shaun Livingston, the visionary

 

Farewell, sweet Blatche

Farewell, sweet Blatche.

RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Shortly after the beginning of the free agency moratorium period, Billy King confirmed that the Nets reached out to all of their free agents -- except Andray Blatche.

"No," King said flatly, when asked specifically about if he'd contacted Blatche, after confirming that he'd contacted the rest of the team's free agents. A source confirmed to The Brooklyn Game that the Nets won't make Blatche an offer in free agency.

The Nets have four players hitting free agency this offseason: Blatche, Shaun Livingston, Paul Pierce, and Alan Anderson. The Nets own Blatche's early Bird rights, meaning they can offer him a four-year deal worth the league average salary.

But the Nets soured on Blatche, given his issues with conditioning and inconsistent play. In December, Blatche was internally suspended from the team for four games by then-head coach Jason Kidd.

The Nets already have significant depth at center, with Brook Lopez returning to a rotation that includes NBA sophomore Mason Plumlee and 20-year veteran Kevin Garnett.

Blatche was Brooklyn's major reclamation project: after getting amnestied by Washington one year into a four-year contract, the Nets picked Blatche up for a veteran's minimum contract and watched him turn in the two best seasons of his career. Blatche averaged 18.3 points per 36 minutes in two seasons, the highest of any player with at least 140 games played and fewer than 20 starts.

There were rumors earlier in the offseason that Blatche and the New Orleans Pelicans had mutual interest, but that was before the Pelicans struck a deal for Houston Rockets center Omer Asik, likely filling that role. Blatche later put up an Instagram post indicating his desire to return to the Nets if the two sides could strike a deal, which he later deleted.

 

Billy King (AP)

Billy King (AP)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Billy King had every right to scream and shout, to bemoan his former coaching prodigy and throw him under the bus. After what Jason Kidd had done to leave this franchise, no one would have blamed him.

He didn't.

"I wish him the best of luck," King said. "I wish him, his family, Porschla and the kids, I think he’s got a great future as a coach."

Wait, really?

"I think the franchise has to be bigger than one person," King said. "I don’t think if you use the ledger of the (New York) Yankees, I don’t think they sat there and said, OK, when they were losing great players over the years that the Yankees were going to fold. No one person, and this is not just talking about Jason, but no one person can be bigger than a franchise or an organization because an organization has got to stand on itself. Players come, coaches come, ownerships come and go but the brand of the Nets will stay.

"I always feel like a team is not the coach or the players or the ownership, it is the fans. They are what the team is about. They are the ones who support, they are the ones that pay tickets, they are people, Mr. Whammy has been here through ownerships and players and different things but he comes because it’s the Nets. He is not coming because it’s Jason Kidd or Billy King or Prokhorov or Bruce Ratner. He is coming because he’s a Nets fan. And that’s how you look at it, people have a loyalty to the brand and not an individual."

Kidd reportedly went over King's head in the front office and demanded to, in essence, take his job overseeing basketball operations. But King said there were no philosophical differences between he and Kidd that he knew of. "There were times that we probably butted heads a little bit, but that happens when you are in management and coaching situations."

Despite some obvious hints of disdain, King refused to "sling mud" at Kidd. "I’m going to keep (my feelings) personal," he said. "At this point, there’s no point in putting those out here. As far as my feelings, my family knows, (Nets PR VP Gary Sussman) probably knows, (Nets PR rep) Aaron (Harris probably knows. There’s no reason to sling any mud here. It happened. I wish Jason and his family very well."

But amidst all the politically correct answers about Kidd's abilities as a coach, one criticism slipped through: King did acknowledge that Kidd's departure wasn't perfect.

"The timing may not have been right, the way it happened may not have been right, but I hope for Jason that he's happy at the end of the day."

 

Lionel Hollins (AP)

Lionel Hollins (AP)

The Nets front office met with head coaching candidate Lionel Hollins Monday night, general manager Billy King said Tuesday morning, and have plans to meet him again this afternoon.

"Lionel, myself, (assistant general managers) Bobby (Marks) and Frank (Zanin)," King said. "We're gonna meet again this morning and reevaluate where we are from there."

Hollins has reportedly been a top candidate since the Nets knew Kidd was leaving. Hollins improved the Memphis Grizzlies' record in each of six full seasons with the franchise before being let go at the end of the 2012-13 season. He was also a candidate for the position last season, before the Nets decided on Kidd as their head coach in June.

The Nets want a coach with experience after their issues with Kidd, who entered the coaching ranks just nine days after retiring as a player. The experience can be in the college or NBA ranks. Hollins worked as an assistant from 1985 to 1995, first in college with Arizona State and later with the Phoenix Suns, before taking the Grizzlies job in three separate stints. He also worked with the Milwaukee Bucks, Kidd's new team, as an assistant from 2008-2009.

"If you look at track record and what he did in Memphis, he was able to go in there and take a team, added some veterans and they continually got better," King said of Hollins. "He developed some young guys, Gasol, some bug guys. If you look at Memphis, they got consistently got better every year. All the way to the Western Conference Finals."

It's not a done deal yet: though he wants the process done soon, it's still a process, as the former coach might say. "All the names you can throw out there, that you guys are all speculating, put them all out there and they're candidates," King said.

"There’s already somebody I talked to that decided they weren’t going to come," King added, without naming that person.

 

The Nets have officially announced their Summer League roster. The team will play in Orlando from July 5th-9th, and possibly in a championship game on the 11th.

Roster below.
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The Brooklyn Nets released a statement regarding reports that Jason Kidd will leave the team to become the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks late Monday night:
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The Glue Guys, Brian and Mike, are joined by The Brooklyn Game's Managing Editor Devin Kharpertian to talk about how we got to the point where Kidd is traded to Milwaukee, who is the next Nets coach, how does Kidd leaving impact the team's free agents, and where the Nets stand in the grand scheme of the league.

Rundown:
Start-13:40: How did we get here and how do we feel about it?
13:41-24:30: Which side comes out the worst in all this: Kidd, the Bucks, or the Nets?
24:31-32:15: Kidd leaves, are Pierce and Livingston following him out the door? We discuss.
32:16-47:45: Who is going to be the next Nets coach and who should the next coach be. Also which potential candidate scares you the most.
47:46-Till the End: We take your twitter questions!

 

The Brooklyn Nets will meet with top coaching candidate Lionel Hollins sometime within the next 48 hours to discuss their vacant head coaching position, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Hollins most recently coached the Memphis Grizzlies to a 56-26 record in 2012-13, and made the playoffs with the Grizzlies in each of his last three seasons with the franchise. He increased their winning percentage in each full season he spent with the team.

Hollins did not coach anywhere last season, and made $2.3 million in the final year of his contract with the Grizzlies.

 

Jason Kidd (AP)

Jason Kidd (AP)

From beginning to end, the Jason Kidd ride was short, but always entertaining. From beginning to end, here's the highlights of his brief Nets coaching career.
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Shaun Livingston, Deron Williams

Shaun Livingston (left) is a free agent. (AP)

Well, this has all happened rather quickly: with Jason Kidd on the outs to coach the Milwaukee Bucks, the Nets are in a state of turmoil that doesn't even include their roster yet. But time waits for no Kidd, and the Nets have to move forward: tomorrow marks the first day of the NBA's free agency moratorium period, where teams can negotiate contracts with free agents.

The Nets are no stranger to that. They've got four players who will come off their books today, four players they may want to retain in some capacity. (Though they might not be able to -- they've only got so many roster spots and options left.)

Here's who the Nets have to make decisions about -- and what they'll probably do.

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