The Milwaukee Bucks have fired coach Larry Drew after agreeing to send two second-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets to secure the coaching rights to Jason Kidd, sources told ESPN.com on Monday.
Brooklyn will receive draft picks in 2015 and 2019 from Milwaukee. The Bucks had been offering one second-round pick, but the Nets wanted a 2015 first-round pick in exchange, a negotiating chip the Bucks dismissed.
The source told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz that the Bucks have talked to Kidd only about being the coach, not any kind of administrative position running basketball operations. The source said the negotiation was supposed to be between the owners, not involving any basketball personnel, before the New York Post leaked the story. But the source said the negotiations are now being handled by Bucks general manager John Hammond and Nets GM Billy King.
The source said the jobs of Hammond and high-ranking Bucks officials David Morway and Dave Babcock would not be in jeopardy if Kidd is hired as coach.
A league source told ESPNNewYork.com that Lionel Hollins has already emerged as “a very serious candidate” to become head coach of the Nets if Kidd goes to 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.”
Ettore Messina, former coach of CSKA Moscow, also is a leading contender for the Nets’ opening, a source told ESPN.com.
Sources said Bucks co-owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry met with Kidd on Friday in New York City after asking for and receiving permission to talk to Kidd a few days before Thursday’s NBA draft.
Lasry had a previous relationship with Kidd, but Edens did not. The source said Kidd told the owners that he would like to have the job. He was intrigued by the challenge of coaching a young, rebuilding team that just added the No. 2 pick in the draft in Duke’s Jabari Parker, the source said.
The source said the Bucks’ ownership wanted Kidd because he handled pressure and a number of egos on the Nets in his first head-coaching stint and guided them into the playoffs.
The ownership’s view of Kidd is that he was a great player, a good young coach and somebody who could be a good disciplinarian, the source said.