Regardless of the outcome of the 2019-20 NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets are expected to become more aggressive in finding ways to improve their chances of winning a championship next year. Aside from searching for a third star that could complement their duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, there are speculations that they will also be looking for a more experienced head coach that will lead the team in the 2020-21 season. In the past months, the Nets have already been linked to several candidates who are either free agents or still under contract with their respective teams.
One of the most intriguing coaching targets for Brooklyn this fall is Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Nets would be the perfect suitor for Popovich if he and his current team decide to part ways in the 2020 offseason.
“It’s not hard to imagine Gregg Popovich, now 71 years old, at a crossroads. In other words, the Nets should make a run at a coaching legend. This idea isn’t coming out of nowhere. There’s been speculation around the league about Nets owner Joe Tsai considering a huge offer to Popovich, who is already the NBA’s highest-paid coach. Whether it’s legitimate or not won’t be answered for some time since Popovich still has to coach the Spurs through the Orlando bubble, and the Nets have their own restart to navigate.”
Targeting Popovich to become their next head coach makes a lot of sense for the Nets. He’s a five-time NBA champion and is considered one of the best coaches in league history. Brooklyn may currently have Jacque Vaughn serving in an interim capacity, but it remains a big question mark if he’s the right man who should be tasked to lead the star-studded unit in the 2020-21 campaign. In his more than two years of service with the Orlando Magic, Vaughn posted a 60-158 record.
If they are determined to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next season, the Nets might be better off replacing Vaughn with a head coach that Irving and Durant respect, and as of now, Popovich could be among the better options to mentor the star duo. He has not yet shown any indication that he already wants to leave the Spurs, but if they decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild this fall, he may reevaluate his future in San Antonio.
At this point in his coaching career, Popovich might be better off being with a team that has a legitimate chance of contending for a title than spending his remaining years in the league mentoring young players on a rebuilding unit.