BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Nets are closing in on a deal to hire Lionel Hollins as their next head coach, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
Sources said the Nets and Hollins are finalizing a multiyear agreement that will pay him an annual salary in excess of $4 million. A deal is expected Wednesday, sources said.
Hollins led the Memphis Grizzlies to three consecutive playoff appearances in his last three seasons with the team. In 2012-13, his last year at the helm, the Grizzlies won 56 games and advanced all the way to the Western Conference finals. The two sides ultimately decided to part ways, and Hollins' contract was not renewed, apparently because there were philosophical differences between him and ownership.
Hollins would take over for Jason Kidd, who left the team to take over the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week.
Sources say the Nets wanted to move quickly in the wake of the Kidd saga and lasered in on Hollins immediately, meeting with him Monday and Tuesday.
Hollins has been a favorite of Nets officials for some time and was pursued by Brooklyn to serve as an assistant to Kidd after the in-season departure of Lawrence Frank, but the former Grizzlies coach was determined to wait for a head-coaching opportunity. Hollins was also chased hard this spring by the Houston Rockets to serve as the top aide to Rockets coach Kevin McHale in the event that Hollins didn't land a top position.
Nets general manager Billy King, during an appearance Wednesday on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike," said experience would be key when making the team's next head-coaching hire.
"One, I think we're looking for experience, someone we'll build with for a long time," King said. "Someone who can develop young players, develop veterans and have a tough mindset. But someone also who has the experience who can take us to where we want to go."