Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas and Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas have become serious candidates for the Nets GM vacancy, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. They join Bryan Colangelo and Danny Ferry, whom earlier reports identified as candidates. Karnisovas and Rosas have separated themselves from other candidates, Wojnarowski writes, but the Yahoo scribe also indicates that Colangelo and Ferry remain in “prominent consideration.” Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has so far not shown a willingness to lay out the 10-year, $120MM contract that John Calipari is seeking, according to Wojnarowski.
The Nets want to hire a GM before the February 18th trade deadline, which is three weeks from Thursday, and they plan to begin formal interviews early next month, Wojnarowski hears. Nets officials want a greater emphasis on international scouting, feeling as though the team lacked that under former GM Billy King, as Wojnarowski also reports, detailing the history that Karnisovas and Rosas have with players from overseas.
Karnisovas just signed an extension with Denver, though teams generally don’t stand in the way if someone in the organization seeks a higher-level job elsewhere. Rosas thought that’s what he was doing when he left the Rockets to become Mavericks GM in 2013, but Dallas envisioned him as a clear subordinate to president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, and Rosas resigned just three months into the job. He returned to the Rockets two months after that. Karnisovas has strong relationships with Prokhorov associates, while Rosas is tight with coaches Tom Thibodeau, who’s already reportedly a candidate to become Brooklyn’s next head coach, and Jeff Van Gundy, according to Wojnarowski.