By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Brooklyn Nets have been a mess this season. They’re currently 14-40 on the season and already fired its head coach Lionel Hollins and reassigned its general manager Billy King in January.
They won’t be on the court again until February 19th against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. But before that game, it’s the trade deadline, which happens at 3 pm EST on Thursday.
Andrea Bargnani, who signed with the Nets as a free agent this summer, is a candidate to be bought out if he’s not traded, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. Boston Celtics power forward David Lee and Denver Nuggets power forward J.J. Hickson is also on his buyout candidate list.
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The Celtics have mentioned that they’re intending to either trade Lee or do a buyout with him. The Nuggets are reportedly shopping Hickson.
Bargnani is in the first year of a two-year contract that he signs with the Nets in the summertime. He’s making the minimum salary that includes a player option for next season.
He’s averaging 13.8 minutes per game, which is the lowest of his 10-year NBA career. He’s making $1.362 million this season while averaging 6.6 points, 2.11 rebounds, and 0.39 assists in the aforementioned 13.8 minutes.
With the Nets without a general manager, it’s hard to speculate whether they’ll make a deal or not. Nuggets assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas and San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Sean Marks will have second interviews this week.
Wojnarowski insists the consensus would be that the Nets would hire former Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo. However, he says that Colangelo and Houston Rockets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas are not out of the running yet.
While the general manager is relying on their assistant general manager to do both jobs, whoever they chose as their new GM will help with hiring its next head coach. Right now, there’s a committee in charge of the GM search that includes team chairman Dmitry Razumov, board member Sergey Kushchenko, CEO Brett Yormark, and owner Mikhail Prokhorov‘s holding company’s president Irina Pavlova.
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There are several head coaches, who have been mentioned for the job. With Yormark’s love for Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari – who reportedly would leave Kentucky for a 10-year, $120 million deal – he’s out of the running.
Other names include veteran head coach Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau along with former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt. Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is also in the mix.
With the trade deadline looming, the team would only have less than two weeks before they can buy out a player, and then the newly released player can sign with a contender. They’ll have until March 1st to be eligible to play for their new team in the postseason.
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