SATURDAY, 12:15pm: Prokhorov has a reputation of courting “secret” candidates and the owner is known to be a big fan of Spurs GM R.C. Buford, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays in a series of tweets. While it is highly unlikely the Russian would be able to pry Buford away from San Antonio, it explains the franchise’s interest in Marks, Stein adds. Prokhorov’s admiration of the Spurs organization is also a reason that San Antonio assistant Ettore Messina is a potential head coaching candidate for Brooklyn, Stein also notes.
FRIDAY, 4:17pm: An air of intrigue surrounds the Nets GM search, but the general consensus around the league is that Bryan Colangelo will land the job, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report relays in an extended series of tweets. The Nets intend to have a new GM in place by the February 18th trade deadline and are in the process of conducting interviews this week. The team is still conducting interviews and there doesn’t appear to be a sense of urgency to make a decision despite the self-imposed deadline, Beck notes. The last time Nets team owner Mikhail Prokhorov conducted a GM search, he had a private “A” list, something that league executives believe is the case once again, Beck relays.
Despite the general belief that the job is Colangelo’s to lose, Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas is still considered a strong candidate for the vacant spot, Beck notes. Karnisovas is well-regarded around the league and speaks Russian, which could be a selling point with Prokhorov, who is Russian, Beck adds. The presence of two strong candidates could lead to Brooklyn going with some combination of the two in its front office, the Bleacher Report scribe relays. Karnisovas is said to earn a six-figure salary in Denver, a number that Prokhorov would likely have no qualms about exceeding based on his past track record, Nets Daily tweets. The Nets have also reportedly targeted former Cavaliers GM Chris Grant, current Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard, Spurs assistant GM Sean Marks, former Cavs and Hawks GM Danny Ferry, Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and Nets assistant GM Frank Zanin. Brooklyn has interviewed Zanin for the GM post, sources tell Chris Mannix of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), even though he’s already been running the front office on an interim basis since the team removed former GM Billy King from the job last month.
With the trade deadline less than a week away, Prokhorov is not 100% committed to retaining center Brook Lopez and combo forward Thaddeus Young, Beck also relays (Twitter links). The owner had indicated previously that he wants to keep Young and Lopez, believing the team can surround them with free agents in the summer and quickly return to contention, according to an earlier report by Beck. Nets CEO Brett Yormark recently mentioned Lopez and Young as among the team’s building blocks. Lopez scored a three-year deal for the max this past summer in spite of the multiple foot injuries he suffered in his first seven NBA seasons. Young, a ninth-year veteran, re-signed with the Nets this past summer on a four-year, $50MM deal.