Latest News, NBA / May 19, 2010 / 6:15 pm

Kiki Vandeweghe Won’t Return To Nets; His Next Move

While it was obvious that Kiki Vandeweghe wasn’t returning as head coach for the Nets next year, in his opening press conference today Mikhail Prokhorov made it obvious Kiki won’t be the GM either. When asked about Vandeweghe this is what Prokhorov had to say: “With Kiki, he’s a very talented guy, he did his job in a very tough season for the team, and his agreement expires in summer and I wish him well.” Basically Prokhorov is saying, ‘Thanks for holding the fort down last year, but we don’t need you anymore.’

This is the right move for the Nets. Vandeweghe was absolutely terrible as coach of the Nets seeming to have no idea how to utilize the talent on his team. Early on in his tenure, Devin Harris even went to Rod Thorn to say he was unsure what direction the team was heading in, and that he didn’t think Kiki really had any idea what he was doing. Throughout the season, Harris’ concerns proved to be justified as the Nets looked horrible and lost more after the firing of Lawrence Frank than they did during Frank’s start to the season.

While Vandeweghe was awful as a coach, Prokhorov is right that he did his job getting them through last year, but now they need to move on. Vandeweghe’s record as GM was very average as well. He helped orchestrate the Jason Kidd deal, but at the end of the day, it was Rod Thorn who got the Mavs to include Devin Harris. The trade that Vandeweghe bears the most responsibility for was Richard Jefferson for Yi Jianlian two years ago. Vandeweghe loves Yi, and even though Jefferson hasn’t been the player he was in his prime, they could have gotten more for him than Yi and Bobby Simmons. Yi has proven to be a bust, so far not living up to his billing, and his value has mainly come in his marketability as opposed to his on-the-court play. And now that Vandeweghe is gone, it is time for his pet project Yi to go as well.

Now what does this move mean for Vandeweghe? After his stint as interim head coach, no team in their right mind will hire them to be a head coach. That would be an incredibly bone-headed move because the Nets didn’t seem to respond to Vandeweghe and looked confused on the court constantly. While his head coaching future is all but finished, he could latch on as an assistant somewhere because he was instrumental in turning Dirk Nowitzki into a primetime player. A team like Toronto with Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu would benefit from his expertise on the bench as long as he’s not head man.

On the otherhand, his future as a GM is cloudy. I think Vandeweghe deserves another job, maybe not as GM but as director of scouting or the Draft czar for a team because his Draft record is pretty solid. While Vandeweghe has made some bad trades (like the Yi trade mentioned above), his Draft record is pretty solid. With the Nets he was influential in them drafting Brook Lopez, Ryan Anderson and Chris Douglas-Roberts in 2008, and snaring Terrence Williams in 2009 – all who appear to be great picks even though Anderson is now on the Magic. It is clear he played a role in scouting these guys, and while Thorn made final decisions, Vandeweghe got these guys in front of him. If a front office position doesn’t materialize for him, he can always call ESPN to get his old analyst job back.

What do you think? What’s Vandeweghe’s next move?

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  • wanaballer

    I would also like to mention the moves by Vandeweghe did back with the Nuggests like drafting Carmelo Anthony in 2003, the trade for Marcus Camby and hired George Karl BUT then again he did trade for and give Kenyon that contract as well as draft Nikoloz Tskitishvili.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Kiki wore that shirt right out of the box. Check out the fold lines.

  • dmitry of jersey

    the Yi trade was not so bad… RJ was average at best without Kidd. Yi sucks a big one but it was a good business decision.

    Still, after failing so bad this past year, I dont think it was wrong to let him go.

  • fallinup

    “I cannot be defeated. I defeat all man. Soon… I defeat real Champion. If Kiki dies, Kiki dies.”

  • stillanetsfan

    rod thorn did all of the drafting not kiki

  • DM

    Thorn did the drafting but Kiki was influential in the scouting

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    Next move should be:

    1. Get an iron or take that shirt to the cleaners. It’s only .99/shirt. Hell you can even walk in around my way and ask a lady to iron your shirt (done it plenty of times on my way to work).

    2. Button up one more button there tough guy.

    @Austin….hell yeah. fresh out the packaging, must be a Cali thing…

  • Simon

    Dear Sho-Nuff,

    What hood are you from? Are these ironing ladies just chillin’ on the block? Do you leave work a few minutes early knowing that you will get your shirt ironed? Where ever this place is, I’m moving from Kingston (Ontario) and moving there.

  • Dan

    @Everyone about the Shirt.

    LMAO!

  • Daniel Marks f**ker

    f u man. how much does Yi earn? a little bit, but he still got like 10 and 5 per game. how bad r u? you have to be responsible for what you wrote. i will f**k u until the day i die. gth $%^^$#$@#@#$%%$

  • Daniel Marks f**ker

    f u man. how much does Yi earn? a little bit, but he still got like 10 and 5 per game. how bad r u? you have to be responsible for what you wrote. i will f**k u until the day i die. gth

  • Daniel Marks f**ker

    f u man. how much does Yi earn? a little bit, but he still got like 10 and 5 per game. how bad r u? you have to be responsible for what you wrote. i will f**k u until the day i die. gth…….

  • tracy

    sorry to give that comment…but i did really disagree with u