If the Nets want to speak to Lionel Hollins about their head coaching vacancy, they might have to wait a while. Speaking to reporters yesterday — a day after Memphis’ season ended with a four-game sweep at the hands of the Spurs in the Western Conference finals — Hollins said he doesn’t expect to be granted permission to speak to other teams before his contract expires on June 30. Hollins, who led the Grizzlies to a franchise record 56 wins this season and playoff series wins over the Clippers and Thunder, is considered the hottest coaching candidate on the market, with the Nets and Clippers — far and away the two best available jobs at the moment — expected to want to interview him. That would mean, however, Hollins would have to leave Memphis to take one of those jobs, something he said yesterday he would prefer not to do. “Hopefully, I’ll be here,” Hollins told the media. “I think they understand that I want to be back.” But if the Grizzlies are unable to come to an agreement on a new contract with Hollins, who reportedly made $2.3 million this season, and don’t let him speak to other teams until his contract expires, that could throw a monkey wrench into the plans of both franchises, who undoubtedly prefer to have their coaching searches wrapped up before free agency begins on July 1. Having to wait, however, might not be as big of an issue for the Nets, thanks to the fact their roster largely is what it will be when the team reconvenes this fall for training camp. With just four open roster spots, and with two of those remaining spots expected to go to 2011 second-round pick Bojan Bogdanovic and whomever the Nets select with their first-round pick in next month’s draft, whomever they choose to hire will be walking into a virtually finished roster, outside of possible trades and a couple of minimum salary signings at the end of the roster.
Nets may have to wait on Grizzlies' Lionel Hollins
New York Post | May 29