Of course, they would have no leverage in negotiations right now if they did.
Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted on Tuesday:
Growing sense in NBA coaching circles is that Nets will wait til offseason if forthcoming pitches to No. 1 target Phil Jackson fall short— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 2, 2013
The thinking: Nets want Phil and will soon launch Phil pursuit. But if he can't be lured to Brooklyn, better to wait until options increase— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 2, 2013
While the Nets probably erred in firing Johnson (is interim coach P.J. Carlesimo really a better option?), they can still make things right by waiting until the offseason to pursue Jackson.
Right now, Jackson is reportedly "intrigued" in coaching the Nets, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. How intrigued he is, however, is a matter of debate.
Jackson loves New York and he loves money, which Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov would eventually be able to offer him, but he also loves a workable roster, and Brooklyn simply doesn't have that right now. That's why it's best to wait until the offseason, giving the Nets some time to add some intriguing pieces along the way, whether it be via trade, free agency or the draft.
Waiting for the offseason would also give Brooklyn more options in the coaching department and, thus, more leverage. Obviously, Jackson isn't going to make many concessions when it comes to negotiations or personnel decisions (given he's, you know, an 11-time NBA champion), but if he's the only guy on the Nets' radar, and he knows this, than he may not make any concessions at all.
Throwing everything at Jackson now may help Brooklyn land him, but it's not like the Nets are going to win the championship this season with or without him, anyway.
Deron Williams, once labeled by many as the best point guard in the league, is shooting under 40 percent from the field through 31 games, as well as 30 percent from downtown. He's also registered a PER of 17.02, his lowest mark since his rookie season. His struggles are a big part of the reason why the Nets are a disappointing 16-15 even though they added Joe Johnson in the offseason and Gerald Wallace near the end of the 2011-12 regular season.
Before the Nets even think about heavily pursuing Jackson, they need to work on creating a stable structure without him first. Then, perhaps they won't seem like the desperate franchise they've been for the past five-plus seasons.
What are your thoughts?