4 Perfect Jacque Vaughn Replacements as Nets Head Coach

The Brooklyn Nets fired head coach Jacque Vaughn. Here are four ideal replacements.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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The Brooklyn Nets announced the firing of head coach Jacque Vaughn on Monday, ending his 1.5-season tenure. The 48-year-old head coach had taken over from Steve Nash after the team started the 2022-23 season 2-5. Since then, the Nets had a 64-65 record under Vaughn.

In Vaughn's defense, the Brooklyn Nets aren't the easiest team to coach. Brooklyn has lacked direction ever since trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving away mid-season last year. They are stuck in limbo without the talent to contend while also owing their draft pick to the Houston Rockets. The lack of offensive creators and dynamic scorers severely limits the ceiling of this team.

However, it's hard to say that Vaughn did a good job in his tenure. The team went on a free fall after the trade deadline last season before getting swept by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. This season, they are 21-33 and in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. This team has a higher talent level than their performance indicates, especially on the defensive end.

A team that has high-level defenders like Mikal Bridges, Nic Claxton, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Dennis Smith Jr. should be a good defensive group. Instead, they rank 18th in defensive efficiency so far this season.

Therefore, the Nets need to bring in a coach that can get the most out of this roster, especially defensively. The Nets need a true superstar to become a contender, but a coach who can build good habits and play the right way could still make them a feistier team than they have been. Here are the best candidates to get them there.

1. Mike Budenholzer

Former Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer is probably the best head coach on the market right now. The 54-year-old has consistently built 50-win teams and is among the winningest coaches in NBA regular season history.

Yes, coach Bud has his playoff foibles. His teams have disappointed in the postseason a few too many teams, with his lack of adjustments being one of the primary reasons. Yet, the Nets are far from that being an issue. They would love to make it to the second-round of the playoffs and lose there.

Budenholzer has only missed the playoffs once in his ten-year head coaching tenure. He is a regular season juggernaut. And that is what Brooklyn needs.

Coach Bud's calling card is the defense. In Milwaukee, he helped Giannis Antetokounmpo become the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and turned Brook Lopez into one of the best defensive centers in the league. His teams have consistently ranked top-five in the league. The Bucks' defense completely falling apart the first season after his departure is not a coincidence.

With the current core of the Brooklyn Nets, Budenholzer can work his magic and turn Claxton into one of the most impactful defensive big men in the league.

If he is ready to make his return to the NBA, coach Bud has to be at the top of the list for Brooklyn.