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Can the Nets make a splashy coach hire?

May 14, 2010, 11:04 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for nets-logo.gifMikhail Prokhorov wants to make an entrance.

The new New Jersey Nets owner will as the tallest representative at the draft lottery next Tuesday (well, unless the Clippers decide to send Chris Kaman, which has the potential for high comedy, so I hope they do).

But he also reportedly wants to make a coaching splash too, with a big hire that brings some legitimacy to a franchise that last season had to work hard to avoid a league record for futility. The Bergen Record reports that may not be so easy.

An NBA source still believes they will give a call to Mike Krzyzewski, although all indications are he’s not interested in coaching them. People in the Nets organization don’t believe they have much of a chance at Krzyzewski, but the source said once Mikhail Prokhorov comes in and gets his feet wet there could be a sales pitch made.

It’s a tough situation because Krzyzewski doesn’t seem interested and (Jeff) Van Gundy, by all accounts, seems set on staying in television. (Avery) Johnson, from everything I’ve heard and read, is the frontrunner to coach the Hornets.

After those three, the name value of the coaches out there drops off considerably.

One thing that could shake out a few bigger names — the Nets winning the lottery and getting the draft rights to John Wall. For that, Prokhorov needs to bring good luck with all that money.

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