The New Jersey Nets announced today that they have reached an agreement with Avery Johnson to be the team’s new head coach. Johnson agreed to a contract that runs through the 2012-13 season. And for the Nets, they couldn’t have made a better choice.
I gave Johnson my vote of confidence in an article two weeks ago, where I named him my number one candidate to be the Nets’ head coach. This is a guy who was aggressive and fierce, which is exactly the type of coach that the team is looking for. Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokorov wants a winner and Johnson, who went 194-70 in three season with the Dallas Mavericks, is exactly that.
The real story behind Johnson’s signing, however, is the effect it will have on free agency. While talking to ESPN’s Hannah Storm about taking over the coaching position, Johnson mentioned Lebron James’ best free agent option was to go to New Jersey. It really makes you wonder, will the Johnson hiring increase the Nets’ chances of wooing James to Jersey?
Even with Avery Johnson in New Jersey, Lebron James' odds of landing in New Jersey aren't good.
Personally, at this point it doesn’t sound all that favorable that James is coming to New Jersey, even with Avery Johnson on board. There are simple too many suitors wanting Lebron, he already hinted on Larry King that he’s leaning towards staying in Cleveland and if James wants to come to the New York market, he may rather go to the Knicks, who have a fast paced run and gun offense under coach Mike D’Antoni.
Still, picking Johnson to be the coach in New Jersey is a very wise one for what is looking to be a young team. He did a great job of staying on his team in Dallas and getting the most out of them every night, plus his profile could only help in getting a top tier free agent to sign with the Nets. Even if Lebron doesn’t come along for the ride, things are looking rosy in the Garden State.