Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov did not limit his free spending to big-name players in his attempt to support rookie head coach Jason Kidd.
Lawrence Frank, Kidd's lead assistant in Brooklyn, was given a four-year deal worth more than $1 million a season -- a deal that makes him the highest-paid assistant in the NBA -- a league source told ESPNNewYork.com
Mike Malone, new head coach of Sacramento, was the league's top-paid assistant last season while making $750,000 with Golden State.
A second league source said Frank's deal with Brooklyn "could be the biggest in league history for an assistant."
Fired as head coach with the Detroit Pistons after only two seasons, Frank had coached Kidd in New Jersey and was identified by Brooklyn officials as a crucial component to a Nets staff that now includes Roy Rogers, Eric Hughes and Doug Overton. Frank assisted Byron Scott on the Kidd teams that reached back-to-back Finals in 2002 and '03 before replacing Scott during the following season. At 225-241, Frank is the Nets' all-time leader in victories.
"He's a guy I can lean on, ask him any question, he pretty much has all the answers," Kidd said Wednesday at the Nets' summer team practice. "I'm happy he's on board. He's been a head coach in this league, he's been an assistant, so he understands what it takes to be successful. I'm very lucky to have a special guy like that."
Apparently, Prokhorov agrees. With Kidd learning on the job -- a job made easier by the acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in Brooklyn's pending blockbuster trade with Boston -- Frank is expected to have more influence on his team's game plan than any assistant in the league.
Kidd personally recruited his former coach for the opening. The Pistons owe Frank $4 million for next season; his salary with the Nets will be subtracted from Detroit's bill.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo was used in this report.