NBA Rumors: Jason Kidd Expected To Leave Nets For Bucks

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Jason Kidd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Two months removed from wrapping up his first season as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Jason Kidd could already be close to a new job.

According to multiple reports, Kidd is expected to leave the Nets following a clash with ownership about an expanded role with the organization. Kidd wanted to also have control of basketball operations, which the team refused, and now has him in discussing that same role with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Kidd had a rocky rookie season as the Nets’ head coach, which began by earning a fine from the league for intentionally spilling a soft drink onto the court. Kidd drew criticism after firing his top assistant coach, Lawrence Frank. He also was criticized for the Nets underachieving the first half of the year.

But Kidd wound up leading Brooklyn to a first-round playoff victory over the Toronto Raptors before getting bounced out in five games to the eventual Eastern Conference champions, Miami Heat.

The Nets finished 44-38 and are expected to return its core group of veterans for the 2014-15 season, though it’s unknown how Kidd’s departure will impact the future of impending free agents such as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Shaun Livingston.

If and when Kidd leaves Brooklyn, replacements could include Lionel Hollins, George Karl, and Mark Jackson, ESPN New York reported.

A league source told ESPNNewYork.com that Lionel Hollins has already emerged as “a very serious candidate” to become head coach of the Nets in the event Kidd does end up in Milwaukee.

“In a lot of ways he makes the most sense,” a league source said of Hollins. “He represents stability, and stability is very important right now. He rules with an iron fist and gets a lot out of his players, so he’d be very high on the list right now, and likely the leader.”

Sources told ESPN.com on Saturday night that the name of former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson also has come up internally as a potential candidate to replace Kidd if he leaves. Jackson, who is currently an NBA analyst for ESPN, was ousted by the Warriors in May after his own flap with ownership, and he famously defended Kidd’s decision to demote highly paid lead assistant Lawrence Frank.

In addition, NBA coaching sources say the Nets are interested in George Karl, another ESPN analyst.

The Bucks, which drafted Jabari Parker with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft last week, finished 15-67. The team parted ways with coach Larry Drew before knowing Kidd was going to be available for hire.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.