Assistant GM Frank Zanin is in charge of the Brooklyn front office in the wake of the team’s removal of Billy King from the GM role, owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a press conference today, notes Andy Vasquez of The Record (Twitter link). The owner said he’ll be in contact with Zanin every day if necessary, as NetsDaily relays (on Twitter). Prokhorov will continue to search for a permanent front office chief, as well as a new coach, and said he will spend more time in the U.S. rather than his home in Russia as he does so, though he cautioned that he’s in no hurry to fill the team’s vacancies, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).
The February 18th trade deadline is less than six weeks away, so Zanin will be busy. He’s a discipline of King’s, having gotten his start in the NBA as a video intern with the Sixers while King was the GM of that team. He later served as video coordinator, scout and assistant coach for Philadelphia before rejoining King in Brooklyn. He became one of two assistant GMs in 2013/14, and this season served as the club’s sole assistant GM after the team elected not to retain Bobby Marks.
Prokhorov said he has no plans to hire CSKA Moscow team president Andrey Vatutin, who had been rumored as his top choice to replace King, tweets Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The owner also indicated a preference for a separate GM and coach, which would seem to cast doubt on the idea of the team hiring John Calipari, another rumored candidate, observes Chris Mannix of SI.com (on Twitter). Still, Prokhorov declined to address the notion of Calipari’s candidacy, aside from calling him a “great coach,” as Lewis relays (Twitter link).