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Nets to hire Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez as next head coach, per report


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The Brooklyn Nets are hiring Sacramento Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez as their next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Fernandez, just 41 years old, was one of the NBA’s fastest-rising assistants. 

After a six-year stint under Michael Malone with the Denver Nuggets, Fernandez joined the Kings as their associate head coach under Mike Brown before the 2022-23 season and helped lead their turnaround into a winning team. He is also the head coach of Canada’s national team and led the squad to a bronze medal at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

The Nets have seen quite a bit of coaching turnover in recent years. Kenny Atkinson, Sean Marks’ first head-coaching hire in Brooklyn, was ousted during the 2018-19 season as the team transitioned from a rebuild into a contention window with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He was eventually replaced by Steve Nash, but the Nets soured on him after a little more than two seasons. Assistant Jacque Vaughn took over from there, but he was fired in February after the Nets, expecting to be somewhat competitive this season, fell far below .500.

Now, Fernandez will join a Nets team in a somewhat transitional period. Durant, Irving and James Harden are gone. The Nets have a mountain of draft picks acquired by trading those superstars and a decent collection of young talent to develop in their place. But Brooklyn lacks a foundational star of its own now.

In theory, their approach to rebuilding the roster has been to preserve those picks and wait to trade them for a replacement star. Donovan Mitchell has been a frequently-rumored target, and his offense would pair nicely with defensive aces like Mikal Bridges and Nic Claxton. Bridges has two years left on a deal that is well below market-value, so that is Brooklyn’s window to significantly improve the roster.

If the Nets can do so, that roster will be led by a new coach that had become highly sought after around the NBA. Fernandez interviewed for multiple head-coaching jobs last season, and his strong World Cup performance only improved his stock. Now, he gets his first chance as an NBA head coach.


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