Reports: Nets, Jason Kidd close to splitting up
Barely nine months after lifting his No. 5 jersey into the Barclays Center rafters, the Nets reportedly are moving closer to severing ties with Jason Kidd.
After he received permission to talk to the Bucks for what now appears to be their head-coaching job rather than one in the front office, the teams are said to be working on a compensation package to release the Nets' coach from the final three years on his contract, freeing him to go to Milwaukee. According to multiple reports Sunday night, the Nets are seeking a first-round draft pick and Milwaukee is offering a second-rounder.
With Kidd on the way out, the Nets will need to turn their attention to finding a replacement, particularly with free agency kicking in tonight at midnight. Lionel Hollins reportedly is the front-runner. George Karl and Mark Jackson also have been mentioned.
This whole scenario couldn't come at a worse time, given the uncertainty about the Nets' ability to re-sign their own unrestricted free agents, Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston. The status of Kevin Garnett also might be revisited depending on whom the Nets hire. Kidd recently said Garnett is expected to return to the team in 2014-15. He has one year left on his contract at $12 million.
Once Kidd's exit becomes official, the Nets will be seeking their fourth coach in 19 months. It would be a spectacularly unbelievable end to a whirlwind 12 months.
It began with Kidd creating a YouTube moment when he took a call during a summer league game in Orlando. The conversation later was revealed to be with Andrei Kirilenko as Kidd wooed him to take less money and join the Nets.
He had his jersey retired by the Nets before an October preseason game. He was suspended for the season's first two games after pleading guilty to driving while impaired, a charge stemming from his July 15, 2012, crash in Water Mill.
After Kidd openly campaigned for top assistant Lawrence Frank to join his staff and Frank was given a lucrative deal, he was unceremoniously "reassigned'' in December to writing daily reports.
The NBA fined Kidd a total of $75,500 for two separate disciplinary measures.
The headliner was a $50,000 fine for his cup caper, spilling soda on the court to stop the clock late in a loss to the Lakers in November.
More recently, during the first-round playoff series with the Raptors, Kidd was slapped with a $25,000 fine for publicly criticizing the officiating, a calculated move he used in hopes it would swing the free-throw pendulum in his team's favor.
But now the man whom the Nets hired over Brian Shaw a year ago, mere days following his retirement after 19 seasons as an NBA player, is in the midst of an unforeseen divorce.
And it seemed as if he -- and his jersey hanging in the rafters -- were just getting comfortable in Brooklyn.