Could Karl go to the Nets?
If Karl becomes available, Thorn has peers – practiced in the art of
informed speculation — who believe the decision would be a slam dunk.
Vandeweghe knows Karl’s ability – and flaws – as well as anyone, and he
likes him personally and respects him as a coach. And the last time
they worked together Karl hit the ground running and led Vandeweghe’s
team to a 32-8 record and a playoff berth – an extraordinary
achievement for an outsider, and an unexpected payoff for the six-year,
$20 million deal he signed five years ago this month.
There is some concern that Karl doesn’t develop young players (“He’s not a developer – he just doesn’t acknowledge young players,” Ray Allen famously said), but Karl disputes that.
“Good young players I play,” the coach said in reply. “I think it’s blown out of proportion. Name me a player other than Eric Snow, who didn’t play and turned out to be a real good player.”
Michael Redd, a second-round pick, was one of them, but even he said that warming the bench his rookie year was the best thing for his development.
Regardless, Thorn isn’t ready to formulate his short list yet.
“It will become a priority as we get closer to April, and in a perfect world, it would be before the draft,” Thorn said. “But there’s no short list. I’ve had some calls from people who are interested, and some have inquired through a third party. So I know we’ll get someone very qualified.”