Ime Udoka Has Emerged As The Frontrunner For The Nets Head Coaching Job
Like he so often does, Woj dropped a pretty big Woj Bomb on us all this afternoon when it let us know that the Nets have officially fired Steve Nash as their head coach.
I don't think anyone is surprised that Nash was the first domino to fall after the Nets got off to their 2-5 start, especially with all the drama surrounding KD's offseason demand to fire both Nash and Steve Marks over the summer. Anyone who has spent 2 seconds watching the Nets this season will tell you that this move alone won't really fix all that much in BKN as their issues go much deeper than just their head coach.
But there was one tweet from Woj that obviously stood out to me as this was all unfolding. This guy right here
Ah yes, Ime Udoka. Remember him? From Woj to Gary Washburn of the Globe, it sounds like Brad and the Celts are in fact open to flipping Udoka for assets
I think most of us realized that when all this shit with Udoka went down back in September before the season, his time in Boston was cooked. While we still don't really know the full details of that whole situation, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that he'll never coach in Boston again. When that was all going down, I wondered at the time if we could have a scenario where Brad/Wyc end up flipping Udoka for assets, similar to what they did with Doc Rivers way back when he wanted to go coach the Clippers. They traded him for an unprotected first round pick in 2015 which ended up being #28 (RJ Hunter). That…didn't exactly work out but the thought process was great.
It sure looks like we could have another one of those situations now in 2022 and it makes sense that the Nets would inquire given that Ime was on the BKN staff not too long ago and is one of the best coaches "on the market" from a basketball standpoint. The way he helped turn the Celts around was real. At the same time, given that he's under contract, technically the Celts don't have to do anything. If Wyc wanted, he could simply eat the cost. But, if the franchise is committed to Joe and he's the guy moving forward, you may as well get some assets for Udoka. A couple of unprotected BKN picks will probably do the trick I would imagine, and who knows what the Nets look like in 2-3 years. It could be another Tatum/Brown situation for all we know for a coach who you have no plans on bringing back after this season. Or it could be another RJ Hunter situation and maybe Udoka saves the Nets. That's the risk I'm sure Brad and Wyc are evaluating.
I imagine since the Nets don't really have any leverage here, that if the price is too high to bring in Udoka they'll just ride with Quin Snyder or Mike D'Antoni or maybe even keep Jacque Vaughn. I just care that Brad is doing his due diligence to potentially bring in additional assets he could later use to improve his roster, especially if everyone in the organization is aware and onboard that Joe is the guy moving forward. You may as well get something in return for Ime as opposed to just firing him and letting him walk for nothing, and seeing as how Brad has been a goddamn wizard so far when it comes to trade, I like his chances of pulling off an Ainge 2.0 level heist with the Nets.