Every Sunday, we’ll be updating the Nets' off-season with bits and pieces of information, gossip, etc. to help take the edge off missing the second round of the playoffs, relying on the Nets’ beat reporters and ...
Every Sunday, we’ll be updating the Nets' off-season with bits and pieces of information, gossip, etc. to help take the edge off missing the second round of the playoffs, relying on the Nets’ beat reporters and others who have slipped interesting stuff into larger stories, blogs, tweets...plus our own reporting.
In this week's edition, we look at what's going on with the coaching search, post some draft notes, peer into the future of using the subway to get from Manhattan and New Jersey to Brooklyn, examine how the Nets aggressive marketing strategy is now being used by the Islanders and spent far too much time on the Emory College paper on how Brooklyn Nets fans are the worst in the NBA.
Who's your coach?
We don't have a lot of inside information out of the PNY Center. Few leaks there. The search for the Nets next coach is very close-hold, with Billy King holding his list tight. But reading the tea leaves and some tweets from around the league, we think the Nets top priority is a veteran coach and since King hasn't been talking to a lot of people, we have to think Lionel Hollins is at the top of King's list. The Nets can't talk to him until the Grizzlies exit the playoffs and that could be late June.
To us, the most significant tweet of the week was this one...from Peter Vecsey who is known to be close to the Nets brass.
I'm told agent Warren LeGarie has spoken 2 at least 1 team, probably 2, re what'll take 2 sign FA Lionel Hollins should terms scare off MG.
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) May 15, 2013
Why so important? Because it suggests that Hollins agent isn't averse to fielding other offers from around the NBA. .
The Nets, with such a veteran club, may want a veteran coach, not a rookie. As we said, it's close-hold and what we're going is what a lot of reporters, pundits and bloggers are doing: speculating.
At the Combine
The Nets had a significant number of front office types at the Pre-Draft Combine in Chicago. On the sidelines, there was, In addition to Billy King and Bobby Marks, Gregg Polinsky, the chief scout whose official title is director of player development; Frank Zanin, who works with King and Marks and whose title is director of player procurement. On teh court was Milton Lee, who has helped run the combine for eight years; Popeye Jones and Jeremy Bettle, the Nets strength and conditioning coach.
You would think with all those eyes and ears, the Nets would wind up with one or more good picks.
Draft Sleeper of the Week
Norvel Pelle is not just a sleeper pick. He is a super sleeper. As the draftniks say, he followed a "non-tradtional route" to the draft. The 6'11" (actually 6'10.5") center/power forward prospect was the top high school center prospect in 2011, playing for Price High School in L.A.
After agreeing to attend St. John's, he was ruled academically ineligible and wound up spending the last two years in prep schools. Despite never playing a minute of college ball, enough NBA teams were intrigued by him that he was invited to the Pre-Draft Combine this week, where he reportedly did well and took some interviews. He did not list the Nets as one of them when asked.
How raw is he? Plenty, but he is also athletic on the Sean Williams scale (and Sean Williams, truth be told, was barely 6'8.5" tall. His athleticism and shot-blocking can seen here, here and here. Prepare to gasp out loud. Is he a first round pick? No way. Could he be worth a later second rounder and a ticket to Springfield? Maybe.
Here's how Yahoo! Sports described him last month.
NBA scouts who tracked him in high school recall being intrigued with his shot-blocking prowess, baseline-to-baseline speed and ability to defend multiple positions, but they also remember a player who gave spotty effort and often seemed content to get by on talent alone.
The other picks
As you watch the Draft on June 27, note the following: there are three picks on the board that originally
about 1 hour ago