There are much more important things going on in the NBA right now than coaching searches (Players walking out of games in protest of racial inequality, owners and the league agreeing to take action).
But at some point soon, coaches will start interviewing for vacancies and teams will be competing for the top coaches on the market.
One candidate who is expected to draw interest from multiple teams? Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue.
Lue is a strong candidate for the openings in Philadelphia and New Orleans, SNY sources confirm. Lue also is reportedly a candidate for the Nets. He may also draw interest from Chicago and Indiana. And if Houston opens up (head coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t under contract next season), Lue may get interest from the Rockets as well.
It makes sense for all of these teams to see Lue as a candidate. During his stint as Cavs head coached, he showed he can coach stars (LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love) and can coach teams to NBA titles.
The Nets are a team with two stars (Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant) who are trying to win a title. So a Lue hire seems logical.
But it’s worth noting that some people in the Nets organization, per SNY sources, expressed pessimism about the idea of hiring Lue after the club parted ways with Kenny Atkinson.
It’s unclear, specifically, why those members of the organization were pessimistic about the possibility of hiring Lue. And it’s entirely possible that the club has changed its mind on Lue.
But it’s worth keeping in mind as the Nets enter their process.
We know that the Nets will do their due diligence over the possibility of hiring Gregg Popovich. Brooklyn would have to get permission from San Antonio to speak to Popovich, who is reportedly under contract for at least the next two seasons.
And current head coach Jacque Vaughn will get consideration for the job, sources confirm.
While he didn’t come out and say that he deserved the job on Sunday night after the Nets season ended in a Game 4 loss to Toronto, Vaughn certainly made a public case for his candidacy. He didn’t shy away from a question about his ability to coach Durant, Irving and the Nets next season.
“What I am confident in is my skill set as a coach -- my ability to communicate and have relationships with guys,” Vaughn said. “My ability to adjust, adjust on the fly, adjust with individuals -- those things I’m very comfortable with. I’m comfortable at this stage in my career with having voice and choice with my players.
“I’m very comfortable at this stage in my career with having truth and transparency with management. I’m very comfortable (at this level in my career) of having a care and confidence level with my performance. So those things, hopefully, were showcased. But at the end of the day, I’m very comfortable with all of those aspects.”