5. Ettore Messina
The latest: It was rumored that Messina would join the San Antonio Spurs after the season, but GM R.C. Buford shot that down.
The skinny: Messina has a long, extensive pedigree including the Italian National Team, Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow most recently. You know who else has ties to Moscow? Yeah, you do.
Messina has been rumored to come over to the NBA for some time and was a top candidate for the Hawks last summer before they hired Budenholzer. Now, the possibility remains that could join the Spurs’ staff, but has also been connected with the Jazz and Quin Snyder’s staff.
His abilities in America haven’t been tested much, so he may not be a good fit for a Nets team that has this year and maybe next to compete for an NBA Championship. Just as it may take David Blatt a few years to adapt to the NBA, that’s time that Nets cannot spend on Messina right now.
The verdict: Praised as an intelligent, tactical coach, Messina could be a great fit with Brooklyn… eventually. The Nets have to win and do it soon. Messina will get his shot in the NBA, but it probably won’t be with the Nets.