The Nets and former assistant coach Lawrence Frank have reached a deal on a buyout that will allow the sides to part ways after a contentious one-year stint, reports Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). Frank appears headed to the Clippers, as the team is expected to name him one of its assistant coaches in the coming days, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (on Twitter). Brooklyn reassigned Frank in December into a role in which he filed daily reports for the club, in spite of a contract that had called for him to make more than $1MM a year for six seasons as an assistant coach under coaching neophyte Jason Kidd.
The buyout is no surprise, since Frank had reportedly hired “high-powered” attorney David Cornwell to try to negotiate a way out of his deal shortly after his reassignment late last year. It’s unclear whether that sort of legal counsel was ultimately involved in the buyout, but this summer’s departure of Kidd, with whom Frank apparently clashed, didn’t seem to repair the relationship between Frank and the team. Nets GM Billy King said in April that it was his decision, and not Kidd’s, to strip Frank of his coaching duties.
The Clippers have been eyeing Frank for a while, as A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com reported earlier this summer that they were considering him for their staff, and Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote earlier this month that Frank was expected to join the team. Clippers head coach/executive Doc Rivers had reportedly sought Frank as an assistant coach in the summer of 2013, too. Frank served as an assistant under Rivers for the 2010/11 season on the Celtics bench.
The 44-year-old Frank’s greatest success in coaching came in his first stint with the Nets, when he guided the team to the playoffs four straight years as head coach. He also served as a head for the Pistons, and is 279-335 in parts of nine seasons as an NBA head man.