Jason Kidd's future as coach of the Brooklyn Nets is uncertain after an attempt to gain more power within the organization led to the team granting him permission to interview with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to sources close to the process.
Sources have confirmed a New York Post report that Kidd, after a successful debut season upon making the difficult jump from player to coach, recently approached ownership with a request to have personnel control in addition to his coaching duties. Nets ownership, however, rebuffed Kidd.
The Bucks then asked for and were granted permission to speak with Kidd about hiring him away from Brooklyn, sources said.
Sources close to the situation said the Bucks and Nets already have begun discussing possible compensation to release Kidd from the final three years of his original four-year, $10.5 million contract.
"I don't think Kidd will be back," a source close to the process said Saturday night.
New Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry is known to be close with Kidd after stints as a Nets minority owner and as the former All-Star point guard's financial adviser. Lasry and Wes Edens, two New York investment firm executives, bought the team for about $550 million earlier this year.
Bucks coach Larry Drew, who guided the team to an NBA-worst 15-67 record in his first season, and Milwaukee's front office were unaware Kidd was about to potentially interview for their jobs, sources told ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst.
A league source told ESPNNewYork.com that Lionel Hollins has already emerged as "a very serious candidate" to become head coach of the Nets in the event Kidd does end up in Milwaukee.
"In a lot of ways he makes the most sense," a league source said of Hollins. "He represents stability, and stability is very important right now. He rules with an iron fist and gets a lot out of his players, so he'd be very high on the list right now, and likely the leader."
Sources told ESPN.com on Saturday night that the name of former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson also has come up internally as a potential candidate to replace Kidd if he leaves. Jackson, who is currently an NBA analyst for ESPN, was ousted by the Warriors in May after his own flap with ownership, and he famously defended Kidd's decision to demote highly paid lead assistant Lawrence Frank.
In addition, NBA coaching sources say the Nets are interested in George Karl, another ESPN analyst.
Sources described Nets general manager Billy King's relationship with Kidd as strained. Sources said King suggested a coaching change in December as the Nets were in the midst of a 10-21 start to the season. However, Russian ownership stuck with Kidd as veterans such as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce continued to staunchly support the first-time coach.
Kidd, who also owns a small share of the Nets, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Kidd's rocky start to his first year as coach included the demotion of Frank following a falling-out between the two. However, Kidd was able to turn around the Nets and finish his first regular season with a 44-38 record. He also earned Eastern Conference coach of the month honors twice.
After losing in five games to the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs, Kidd talked to ownership about a dual role.
He is entering the second year of a $10.5 million deal.
By comparison, Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher, both new coaches without any previous coaching experience, recently signed five-year deals worth $25 million each with the Warriors and New York Knicks, respectively.
Kidd's uncertain future casts a cloud over the Nets as free agency begins Tuesday. The Nets hope to re-sign Pierce and Shaun Livingston, both staunch Kidd supporters.
Also, it remains to be seen how Kidd's uncertainty affects Garnett's decision to return for a final season with the Nets. Garnett has given indications of coming back and is planning to begin preparations for the upcoming season starting next month.
The Lakers are the only team in the league at present with a head-coaching vacancy, but sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Los Angeles will not be reaching out to Kidd as a potential candidate if he indeed becomes available.
ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor contributed to this report.