Adrian Wojnarowski: Jacque Vaughn likely to coach Nets next season
The Nets have two stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and the ammo to get a third star. Expectations are rising quickly in Brooklyn. Merely qualifying for the playoffs isn’t enough. Nobody felt that more than Kenny Atkinson, who got ousted historically late in the season for a postseason-bound team.
The next logical step: Hiring a blue-chip coach.
Or maybe the Nets will just keep Jacque Vaughn, who took over for Atkinson.
“Interim” is just a label. The Nets can call Vaughn whatever they want. He’s coaching the team right now, and no job is permanent.
But unless hearing otherwise, there’s an expectation a team will conduct a coaching search the offseason after an in-season coaching change.
This might be the otherwise.
Vaughn reportedly has a legitimate opportunity to win the job. But Brooklyn will be without Durant, Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler, Nicolas Claxton and maybe Spencer Dinwiddie as the season resumes in Disney World. That’s not a recipe for impressing.
That’s especially true because Vaughn doesn’t fit the marquee image the Nets were reportedly seeking. In his only previous head-coaching position, Vaughn went 20-62, 23-59 and 15-37 with the Magic before they fired him in 2015.
One thing Vaughn has going for him: He reversed Atkinson’s strategy of starting Jarrett Allen over Jordan, who’s close with Durant and Irving. It’s practically impossible to see Brooklyn picking a coach – especially Vaughn – without the support of Durant and Irving.
The Nets should conduct a full coaching search. If Vaughn emerges as the best choice, great. But he hasn’t done enough to warrant Brooklyn ignoring other candidates.