Lionel Hollins, Ettore Messina among top candidates to replace Jason Kidd

USA TODAY Sports

The Nets reportedly considered making a move for Hollins midseason when the team was struggling, and now they'll have another chance to hire him with Kidd off to Milwaukee.

Jason Kidd is off to the Milwaukee Bucks after just one year as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, meaning the Nets are now searching for a new headmaster. Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins would be a top candidate for the position, and that has since been confirmed by Sam Amick of USA Today and ESPN's Chris Broussard.

Hollins last coached in the NBA with the Grizzlies during the 2012-13 season. The 60-year-old was let go by Memphis after that season despite 56 wins and a trip to the Western Conference Finals. Wojnarowski reported some Nets officials wanted to fire Kidd and hire Hollins in December, but ownership decided to stick with Kidd.

Amick reported Sunday that another serious candidate for the position would be George Karl, which was echoed by ESPN's Marc Stein after the Kidd trade was completed on Monday. Stein also mentioned Mark Jackson as a possibility, although Amick downplayed his candidacy.

One of the more interesting candidates came from Broussard, who said former CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina is on the Nets' list. Messina coached CSKA Moscow when Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov owned the team, so there's a positive prior relationship between the two men. Messina was rumored to be joining Gregg Popovich's coaching staff with the San Antonio Spurs next season, but Spurs general manager R.C. Buford denied it.

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