Is Nets coach Jason Kidd about to go one-and-done in Brooklyn?
In an unexpected turn of events, the New York Post reported on Saturday that the Nets have granted permission to Kidd to meet with the Bucks following an internal disagreement that resulted from Kidd's request to be given control of basketball operations.
According to a league source, Kidd recently approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. The source said Kidd didn’t want general manager Billy King to be dismissed, but wanted to be given a title and placed above him in the organizational hierarchy.
Ownership declined to grant Kidd that kind of power, which is rare for any coach in the league to have. The source said ownership felt Kidd wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility. ... The franchise then was approached by the Bucks for permission to speak with Kidd about the prospect of hiring him, and the Nets granted permission.
NBA.com confirmed that Kidd has been granted permission to meet with the Bucks, who are under new ownership after investors Marc Lasry and Wes Edens purchased the club from Herb Kohl back in April. The Journal-Times reports that Lasry and Kidd are "friends." Any conversations taking place between Milwaukee and Kidd were occurring without the knowledge of the Bucks' management and coaching staff, according to ESPN.com.
Both Bleacher Report and Yahoo Sports reported Saturday that Kidd is seeking a job as president of the Bucks, a hiring that could produce compensation negotiations between Milwaukee and Brooklyn. However, ESPN.com reported Sunday that Milwaukee is pursuing Kidd as a coach rather than as a front-office executive, and that Brooklyn is seeking a first-round pick as compensation for his potential departure.
Either way, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reports that there are "strong indications" Kidd will not return to Brooklyn, regardless of how his talks with Milwaukee play out, while Yahoo Sports reports that members of the Nets' Russian ownership group are "done with Kidd." Mark Jackson, Lionel Hollins and George Karl are among the names bubbling as possible replacements for Kidd in Brooklyn.
Kidd, 41, posted a 44-38 record in 2013-14, his first season on the job in Brooklyn after retiring in 2013 following a lengthy playing career. That first year on the bench was full of twists and turns: Kidd served a suspension for a DUI plea, he drew a fine for intentionally spilling soda on the court, he cast off lead assistant Lawrence Frank to desk duties, and he was fined for criticizing the officials during the playoffs. Nevertheless, he twice took home Coach of the Month honors and guided the Nets to the franchise's first playoff series victory since 2007, before they lost to the Heat in the conference semifinals. Kidd signed a four-year contract worth a reported $10.5 million with the Nets last summer, with a team option on the final year of his deal.
King, 48, was hired as Nets GM in 2010. During his tenure, King has orchestrated trades to acquire Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett as owner Mikhail Prokhorov has green-lighted an aggressive, spend-happy approach to roster-building.
Milwaukee, meanwhile, is coming off a disastrous 2013-14 season in which they won a league-worst 15 games. The franchise will look to build around Duke forward Jabari Parker, who was selected with the No. 2 pick in last Thursday's draft, and center Larry Sanders, who was inked to a lucrative rookie extension last fall. The Bucks signed coach Larry Drew to a four-year contract worth a reported $10 million contract last summer, although the deal includes a team option on the final year. GM John Hammond was also given contract extension in 2013 that would keep him in place through the 2015-16 season.
Whatever the source or sources of conflict between Kidd and King might be, one thing is clear: Kidd has watched this summer as other first-time coaches were given far more money than he signed for last summer. The Knicks reportedly gave Derek Fisher a five-year contract worth $25 million, while the Warriors inked Steve Kerr to a similar five-year, $25 million deal. Would a move to Milwaukee offer Kidd that type of earning power, plus the opportunity for greater authority?