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Report: Nets looking to build around former Suns’ forward after dismissing head coach

© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have evidently not had the type of season they hoped for, as they dismissed coach Jacque Vaughn today after going 21-33 before the All-Star break.

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Vaughn replaced Steve Nash as interim head coach two-plus seasons ago. He went 71-68 total in the regular season and 0-8 in the playoffs.

Brooklyn is now reportedly turning to Kevin Ollie as interim head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

So what are the Nets planning to do in this new era?

Per Wojnarowski, “The Nets are rebuilding the roster around forward Mikal Bridges. They hold significant salary cap space and draft capital to build around him this summer and beyond.”

Bridges was part of the trade package sent from the Suns to the Nets in the Kevin Durant deal on Feb. 8, 2023. The 27-year-old is now in his sixth season in the league. He is averaging a team-high 21.7 points on 45.2% shooting to go along with 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists this season.

His four-year, $90.9 million contract runs until the 2025-26 season. Brooklyn reportedly turned down offers of four first-round picks for Bridges in the past.

Bridges was traded to the Suns on draft night in 2018 away from his hometown Philadelphia 76ers and quickly became a fan favorite. He played in every single game he was available for, 365 regular season contests. This streak has continued with the Nets and is now up to 446 games.

Bridges averaged 12.2 points and four rebounds with the Suns. He was more so remembered for his defense and being really the glue for the Suns during his 4 1/2 years in the Valley.

Now, Bridges, still beloved by Suns’ fans, gets his chance to be the face of a franchise.

Mikal Bridges Discusses Returning to Phoenix and Helping Nets Spoil Suns Big 3 Debut

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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