July 14, 2010

Billy King has emerged as the leading candidate to be named the Nets' next president, league sources told SI.com.

According to one source, the job is "his if he wants it."

King would succeed outgoing president Rod Thorn as New Jersey's head of basketball operations. King, a former 76ers general manager, was a major factor in building the Philadelphia team that advanced to the 2001 NBA Finals. However, the Sixers missed the playoffs in three of his final four seasons before he was fired in 2007.

Multiple sources said vice president Bobby Marks will be promoted to GM and handle the day-to-day decisions. But King would have final say over all personnel moves.

If King accepts the position, it would be interesting to see how he works with coach Avery Johnson. Yahoo! Sports reported that Johnson has gone out of his way to forge a strong relationship with Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov and that Johnson was the driving force behind the five-year, $35 million contract the Nets gave small forward Travis Outlaw. King has some experience with coaches who want a say over personnel, having dealt with Larry Brown in Philadelphia. How King and Johnson coexist would be a critical factor for the rebuilding Nets.

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