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Bud's eight figure per year contract with Suns shows It was too costly for Nets

 The Brooklyn Nets are a big market team and were a free agent and trade destination going back only a couple of seasons.

Sean Marks opened up the checkbook to sign both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to max deals and he emptied the draft cupboard to acquire James Harden. 

Marks, at the request of both of his stars, fired multiple coaches, eating dead salary in all instances. 

Joe Tsai and the Nets hiked season ticket prices by an average of $144 per ticket in the 2022 season, even after trading away James Harden. 

Reportedly, 30 percent of season ticket holders walked away the following season. Then, both Irving and Durant skipped town. 

Barclays Center attendance figures have been rock solid, but one look around the arena and it's clear it's filled with more tourists, casual NBA fans and opposing fans, than Nets fans.

This was the same criticism the Nets faced when playing at the Meadowlands without any mass transit options and outside of New York City.

The Brooklyn Nets are facing an identity crisis and there was one proven head coach with championship experience that could have turned things around in short order. 

That man, Mike Budenholzer, was among the finalists for the Nets job along with Jordi Fernandez and Kevin Young. Ultimately, the Nets financial situation- money tied up in dead contracts and players that don't play in the case of Ben Simmons- precluded them from signing Budenholzer. 

The former Milwaukee Bucks head man received a 5-year, $50 million-plus dollar deal to try to figure out the mess in Phoenix with Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. 

Brooklyn took a shot in the dark with a heralded assistant coach with more questions than answers. 

While Budenholzer was head and shoulders above any candidate on the free agent coaching market, it became clear that Tsai was unwilling to dole out an eight figure per year payday given the mess that Brooklyn's former superstars left behind. In fact, Tsai is finalizing a minority sale to members of the Koch family for up to a 15 percent stake in the club with no clear path to majority ownership at this point.

If one thing is clear from the history of the Nets, the nomadic franchise with a rotating carousel of owners, anything is possible as far as ownership changes are concerned and relocation. 


From championship slayer to coach killer, it was KD's fault afterall


When you think about the most uncoachable players in the NBA, there are a few names that come to mind. These players specifically have a penchant for getting coaches fired. 

Lebron James and Kyrie Irving are among the first to be considered as difficult to manage and easy to place the blame on others. 

But there is in fact one player that actually takes the cake when it comes to uncoachability.

Surprising or not, that man is Kevin Durant. 

Since arriving in Brooklyn in 2019, Durant briefly played for Kenny Atkinson before he was ousted out of Brooklyn and the Nets hired Steve Nash. Durant quickly grew tired of Nash and issued the Nets an ultimatum during his first trade request: 'fire Nash and Sean Marks or trade me'. 

Durant rescinded his first trade request, and Nash was only back for the first handful of games to start the 2022 season before Brooklyn pulled the plug and anointed Jacque Vaughn as the new full-time head coach with an extension. 

Then Durant revisited his trade request right before the trade deadline and was dealt to Phoenix. 

The Suns reached the second round of the playoffs last year before losing in five games to the eventual NBA champion Nuggets with Monty Williams as Durant's head coach. 

To no one's surprise, Phoenix then made another coaching change and hired a title winning coach in Frank Vogel to lead the sidelines. 

The Suns underachieved this year and were swept out of the first round by the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

This week it was announced that Vogel was fired and former head coach with the Bucks an NBA champion Mike Budenholzer is expected to take over.

So this will be Kevin Durant's sixth different head coach since he joined the Nets in the summer of 2019. 

He cycled through three coaches in Brooklyn and now is on his third coach in Phoenix. 

Durant hurt his NBA legacy by super team jumping after leaving Oklahoma City and now his reputation is taking another hit for being a coach killer late in his career. 

Former Net legend's playoff run with Mavs impossible to support


Jason Kidd is synonymous with greatness. He is among the top 75 players to ever touch an NBA basketball. He is in the pantheon of great NBA players and arguably the top Nets player of all time. 

So why would it be so difficult for a Nets fan base to root for the Mavericks head coach and his pursuit of a title?

It has nothing to do with Kidd's unceremonious ending in 2008 as a player in New Jersey or as a head coach with Brooklyn in 2014. 

In fact, Kidd's contributions to the franchise will always be remembered more for the good times than the challenging ones.

The reason why it's impossible for the Nets faithful to pull for the former face of the franchise is that he hitched his wagon to Kyrie Irving. 

Irving made big promises upon signing with Brooklyn, including finishing the job that Kidd had started in New Jersey, by winning a championship. 

Brooklyn fell laughably short with Irving missing the playoffs during the bubble year with an injured shoulder that required surgery. Irving then suffered a leg injury in the 2021 playoffs, followed by being swept by his former team in the Celtics in 2022. 

Irving could not stay healthy and was far from a leader during his time in Brooklyn. He was in fact one of the main culprits for why the team's big three blew up from the inside out. 

There's no question that Irving was among the most talented players to ever wear a Nets uniform, but he will never be a beloved player in this borough after he single-handedly dismantled a super team.

So while Kidd winning his second championship with the Mavericks and first as a head coach would be a storybook tale, Irving's presence on the roster makes Nets fans cringe at the thought of him enjoying success with another franchise. Especially after he burned this one to the ground. 

Nets make NBA history with latest head coaching hiring

 When the Brooklyn Nets hired former Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez to take over their head coaching duties, I'm not sure even they knew history was being made. 

As a respected coach across the league, Fernandez was voted the best assistant coach in a league GM survey. He's also the fifth ever European-born coach and the fifth youngest NBA coach ever to be hired. 

But all those facts pale in comparison to the fact that Fernandez is the first Spanish-born coach in NBA History.

There are only three Spanish-born players currently in the NBA and eleven total from Spanish speaking countries. 

Fernandez is adored and praised by his peers in the NBA and from Team Canada. The Nets are hoping that his worldly experience will help develop a roster that vastly underachieved in 2023-24.

Only time will tell, but Brooklyn can hold claim to setting league history by appointing Fernandez as the main man in charge.

Nets listed as favorites to land reigning MVP if he requests a trade


In the history of the Brooklyn Nets, New Jersey Nets, New York Nets and one year as the New Jersey Americans, the franchise has never had an NBA MVP award winner.

Even with all the marquee names to don a Nets uniform in Buck Williams, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, not one has earned that honor while playing with the club. 

There is one player that is a reigning MVP winner still in his prime listed as a potential Brooklyn Net if things continue to go South in his current city. 

The 2023 NBA MVP, Joel Embiid, is favored to land with the Nets as +300, according to, if he wants out of Philly.

Embiid just turned 30 and with a history of injuries along with a big lumbering 7-foot frame, the Sixers center is starting to get antsy in his chase for a championship. 

It's curious that the Nets are even on this list, nevertheless, at the top of it, because Brooklyn is several pieces away from even being considered a championship contender.

Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey is supposed to go big game hunting this summer to pair both Embiid and Maxey with another star. 

If the Sixers failed to bring in a big star like Jimmy Butler or another piece capable of getting them past the second round, the noise surrounding Embiid leaving the City of Brotherly Love will only grow louder. 

Overpaying this free agent would be fatal mistake for Nets' GM


There's one player on the Nets roster who Is a pending free agent and the most polarizing figure on the roster within the team's fan base. 

He's averaging a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds along with two blocks on 62.9% from the field. At 25 years of age, the fan base is hoping the best is yet to come from him. 

Unfortunately, for Nets general manager Sean Marks, resigning this player at the wrong price could be a death wish. 

Center Nic Claxton, who is reportedly might command a contract extension in the neighborhood of a $25 million of average annual value (AAV), would be a major mistake for Brooklyn.

Claxton has been a solid player for the Nets, but in the same mold as a Clint Capela, paying him as a top center would not make much sense for the future of the franchise.

Many within the Nets fan base and Twitter base have grossly overestimated Claxton's value and what he deserves on the open market. 

Claxton's free agent market isn't exactly as robust as many expect. Don't anticipate teams lining up to pay a player who is incapable of making a mid-range jump shot top dollar on the open market. 

While the Nets bringing Claxton back at the right price range of $15-$18 million is understandable, anything over the $20 million Mark would just be pure lunacy and a fireable offence for Marks. 

Will Nets regret not hiring championship winning coach?

The Brooklyn Nets had an opportunity this off-season to bring in a head coach with C
championship winning experience. In fact, a coach that perhaps took a ring away from the 2020-21 Nets squad. That man, Mike Budenholzer, was ultimately not hired and remains a head coaching free agent. 

According to Shams Charania, Budenholzer, Phoenix assistant Kevin Young, and Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez were among the finalists for Brooklyn's head coaching gig. 

It's unclear why this Nets regime opted for a neophyte head coach in Fernandez as opposed to a well-respected veteran in Budenholzer.

It's likely that Budenholzer commanded a longer term and more lucrative contract that Joe Tsai and Sean Marks were willing to dole out. 

The Nets were actually paying three head coaches this year in Jacque Vaughn, Steve Nash and then ultimately hiring a new candidate to replace the interim Kevin Ollie.

Budenholzer is clearly the ready made option for a roster that has immediate pressure to win and maximize the prime windows of Mikal Bridges and his running mate Cam Johnson. 

The majority of the Nets fan base is in a wait and see mode with Fernandez. It's very likely that the entire coaching philosophy will be vastly different from the past few years. Ultimately, Fernandez's tenure is only going to be measured by wins and losses.

Anytime an organization makes a bold move and passes up on a championship winning coach, they better have shrewd plans in mind to find the next diamond in the rough along the sidelines. 

The NBA is ultimately a players league, and superstars win come playoff time. But the Nets were often at a talent deficit and coaching deficit the past few years after trading. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. 

With out their own picks in the next few drafts, Marks is going to have to do the same creative maneuvering he did when he took over the Nets in 2016 in a similar position.

As for Hernandez, he's going to need to find a way to unlock Bridges and Cam Thomas to get this Brooklyn team back into the playoffs.