Sources: Nets have strong interest in Tom Thibodeau as coach

The Brooklyn Nets have strong interest in former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in their search for a new coach, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, while in the early stages of a search for both a new lead executive and a new coach in the wake of ousting general manager Billy King and Lionel Hollins, are likely to pursue Thibodeau once they can secure a successor to King.

ESPN.com reported Wednesday that Bryan Colangelo, the former Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns general manager, has emerged as a serious candidate for King's position. Another prominent name mentioned in recent days for the GM vacancy is former Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry.

The Nets also have been linked strongly to Kentucky coach John Calipari, largely because of Calipari's strong ties to Brooklyn CEO Brett Yormark, but there is a growing sense in league circles that team owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants to hire established NBA names with considerable experience in the league.

Because of that, the appeal of Thibodeau is obvious. As perhaps the most accomplished coach available, Thibodeau posted a record of 255-139 (.647) during his five seasons in Chicago. The Bulls made the playoffs in all five of those seasons, advancing as far as the Eastern Conference finals. Thibodeau was fired after the Bulls were eliminated in the East semis last season.

Tony Brown is currently serving as the Nets' interim coach.

ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.