The Nets will round out their coaching staff – and presumably land their defensive coordinator – with the expected hiring of David Vanterpool.
The well-respected assistant will essentially replace Ime Udoka, who largely engineered the Nets’ defense for rookie head coach Steve Nash before departing this offseason for the coveted head coaching gig with the Boston Celtics.
The hire by Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks was first reported by ESPN, and confirmed by The Post. Brooklyn is expected to make the move official at some point Friday.
The 48-year-old Vanterpool had been the associate head coach for Minnesota the past two seasons after a long seven-year run in Portland under Terry Stotts, helping develop the dominant backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ MCollum.
He landed interviews for head coaching jobs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, New Orleans and Orlando over the past few years, but despite having the respect of his players in Minnesota, he didn’t get an interview for that head coaching position when the Timberwolves eventually hired Chris Finch back in February.
“How the hell do you not hire David Vanterpool and he’s right there on the bench… and has been in front office SUCCESSFULLY and on the front of a bench of a winning team SUCCESSFULLY (7 years) … and also has played a major role in the development of a dominant backcourt smdh!” Lillard tweeted at the time.
The snub may have led Vanterpool to look for greener pastures. He comes to Brooklyn as a front-of-the-bench coach, Udoka’s replacement and a defensive coordinator type.
Brooklyn initially feared it could lose three assistants this offseason. But after they beat Boston in the first round of the playoffs and then lost Udoka to the Celtics, they saw former interim coach Jacque Vaughn pull himself out of contention for the New Orleans job and offensive coordinator Mike D’Antoni interview twice in Portland before being passed over for Chauncey Billups.
Retaining both of the former head coaches while adding Vanterpool can only be considered a solid offseason for the staff.
As NetsDaily notes, Vanterpool actually got his first break into coaching thanks to former Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. His first job was in 2007 as an assistant coach for CSKA Moscow, a Russian powerhouse then owned by Prokhorov. He went on to get hired three years later as director of player personnel in Oklahoma City, where the star player was Kevin Durant.