Nets will try to pry Gregg Popovich from Spurs to begin coaching search

The Brooklyn Nets are going big-game hunting in their search for a new head coach.

The team is interested in longtime Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and will look into whether they can pry him from San Antonio, according to The Athletic. The Nets were knocked out of the playoffs on Sunday, getting swept by the Toronto Raptors in the first round.

Nets GM Sean Marks was an assistant coach under Popovich, on the bench for the Spurs’ 2014 NBA title win, and became assistant general manager after that season. Marks joined the Nets in 2016.

“Pop has a job. So I will say that. And, obviously, we all know he’s an amazing, amazing coach — and to be quite frank, an even better leader,” Marks told WFAN last month when asked about Popovhich. “So I’ll let Pop continue to coach for the Spurs. He owes it to them and they owe it to him. I’m sure he’s quite happy there.”

The Nets fired head coach Kenny Atkinson in March. Interim head coach Jacque Vaughn went 7-3 during the regular season, including 5-3 during the NBA bubble restart.

Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Ime Udoka have all been linked to the Nets job.