Budenholzer, Fernandez, Young Finalists For Nets’ Coaching Job

Mike Budenholzer, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, and Suns assistant Kevin Young are finalists for the Nets‘ head coaching job, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Nets, who parted ways with Jacque Vaughn in February and replaced him with interim head coach Kevin Ollie, opted not to wait for the end of the season to begin their head coaching search. NetsDaily reported earlier today (Twitter link) that Brooklyn’s search process has been ongoing for more than a month and is believed to have been “extensive,” which Charania confirms.

According to Charania, Ollie received consideration for the permanent job, as did several other outside candidates, including Heat assistant Chris Quinn and Pelicans assistant James Borrego.

However, the franchise appears to have zeroed in on Budenholzer, Fernandez, and Young as its finalists. Sources tell The Athletic that team owner Joe Tsai will hold in-person meetings with all three candidates, with a final decision to be made sometime in the not-too-distant future.

A two-time Coach of the Year, Budenholzer compiled a 484-317 (.604) regular season record across 10 seasons as an NBA head coach from 2013-23 — five in Atlanta and five in Milwaukee. He also owns a 56-48 (.538) overall postseason record and won a championship with the Bucks in 2021. Budenholzer was an assistant in San Antonio when Nets general manager Sean Marks joined the Spurs’ front office in 2012.

Fernandez, who technically holds the title of associate head coach on Mike Brown‘s staff in Sacramento, served as an assistant in Denver from 2016-22 before making the move to the Kings. He has long been considered a future NBA head coach and led the Canadian national team to a bronze medal at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. He’ll coach the Canadians at this summer’s Olympics in Paris.

Young is another veteran assistant who has been promoted to associate head coach and has received NBA head coaching consideration in recent years. He reportedly interviewed with the Rockets, Bucks, Raptors, and Suns a year ago. Young was an assistant with the Sixers from 2016-20 before spending the last four seasons in Phoenix.

The Nets are one of three teams in the market for a permanent head coach, along with the Hornets and Wizards.

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