Coaching Rumors: Nets, Wizards, Hornets, Pistons, Blazers

People around the NBA expect the Nets‘ head coaching search this spring to be “wide-ranging,” with less of a specific archetype for the preferred candidate in Brooklyn than there might be in Charlotte or Washington, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The Hornets and Wizards will be focused on landing “the right development-minded coaches to enhance a youth movement,” Fischer continues, whereas the Nets are expected to consider a broader mix of experienced coaches and potential first-timers.

Fischer mentions Mike Budenholzer and James Borrego as a couple veterans who may appeal to Brooklyn, given their San Antonio ties to Nets head of basketball operations Sean Marks. As for possible first-time head coaches, sources tell Yahoo Sports that Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the top job in Brooklyn.

Here are more coaching-related notes and rumors from Fischer:

  • Wizards interim head coach Brian Keefe is expected to receive serious consideration for the permanent job in Washington despite a 8-26 (.235) record since he replaced Wes Unseld Jr., league sources tell Fischer.
  • In addition to the four candidates the Hornets have received permission to interview so far, Heat assistant Chris Quinn and Jazz assistant Lamar Skeeter are two more names expected to factor into Charlotte’s search, Fischer reports. Quinn interviewed for the job in 2022 and made a strong impression on Hornets decision-makers at that time, Fischer writes, though a new front office will be leading the search this time around.
  • Charles Lee, one of the candidates Charlotte has been granted permission to interview, was in Atlanta while new Hornets co-owner Rick Schnall and executive VP of basketball operations Jeff Peterson were with the Hawks, Fischer observes, noting that Lee appears to be a strong candidate in Charlotte’s head coaching search.
  • There has been “ongoing speculation” among rival front offices about Monty Williams‘ future with the Pistons, but Fischer hears from a source with knowledge of the situation that there’s no indication Williams would be open to a buyout from his six-year, $78MM+ contract following his first season in Detroit.
  • There has also been speculation in coaching circles about the possibility that the Trail Blazers will make a coaching change this spring, Fischer says, though Chauncey Billups told Yahoo Sports that he’s eager to try to lead Portland back to the postseason in 2024/25. “I’m light years ahead of where I was when I took the job, obviously being a first-time (head) coach,” Billups said. “And I’m really ready for that challenge and that pressure to go out and compete with these best teams and stuff. I’m really ready for that. So, I just hope that we can be in that position, that’s all.”
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