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Avery Johnson Agrees to Coach New Jersey Nets

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2010

DALLAS - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Avery Johnson of the Dallas Mavericks during play against the Detroit Pistons on January 9, 2008 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The New Jersey Nets have reached an agreement in principle with former Mavericks head coach and current television analyst Avery Johnson, ESPN reported Wednesday afternoon.

Johnson, who is currently covering the 2010 NBA Finals for ESPN, was also a finalist for the Atlanta Hawks coaching vacancy.  He met with Atlanta GM Rick Sund on Saturday, but was not offered the job at that time.

After Johnson took over as coach for Don Nelson in Dallas several years ago, the former NBA point guard posted an impressive 194-70 record during three seasons on the bench.  He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2005 and led the Mavericks to the 2006 NBA Finals.

Johnson’s fortunes began to turn after the Heat rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Mavs in six games.  He was relieved of his duties in 2008 and has spent the last three years working for ESPN.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has high hopes for the franchise next season and will undoubtedly be active in the free-agent market this summer.  Even if the Nets don’t manage to sign LeBron James, they will likely have the opportunity to land a big-name free agent.

New Jersey also holds the No. 3 pick in the 2010 draft and is said to be targeting talented youngster Derrick Favors.

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