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Report: Nets have eye on Popovich

FILE PHOTO: Basketball - FIBA World Cup - Quarter Finals - United States v France - Dongguan Basketball Center, Dongguan, China - September 11, 2019 Coach of the U.S. Gregg Popovich REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Gregg Popovich is on the short list of candidates to be the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

Per The Athletic, Popovich’s former pupil in San Antonio -- current Nets general manager Sean Marks -- is hoping to lure the five-time championship coach from the Spurs. Popovich has been head coach of the Spurs since 1996 and coached Marks, who later worked in the Spurs’ front office.

Popovich is under contract with the Spurs and any move would likely require draft compensation in return.

The Nets were swept out of the 2020 playoffs by the Toronto Raptors in a series that wrapped on Sunday. As the offseason begins, Marks noted the significance of finding the right head coach to lead a roster that will look a lot different next season.

The Nets’ playoff team was not a complete group in terms of health.

Kevin Durant sat out the entire season but the known Popovich ally is due back at the start of next season, as is Kyrie Irving. When Irving requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, the Spurs were one of the teams on his list.

Several current Nets employees, including interim head coach Jacque Vaughn and assistant general manager Andy Birdsong, are also from the Popovich tree in San Antonio.

Among other candidates, Jason Kidd, Tyronn Lue, Ime Udoka and Jeff Van Gundy have been mentioned as options to be the next coach of the Nets.

--Field Level Media

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