Kidd to Coach Nets at Orlando Summer League; King Believes Watson Will Opt Out

Josh Newman, Field Reporter

Newly-named Nets rookie head coach Jason Kidd is going to get a head start on his head coaching career beginning in early July.

DSCN9937Doing a media tour following Kidd’s introduction as the franchise’s 18th NBA head coach, General Manager Billy King told Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts of WFAN on Friday morning that Kidd would coach the Nets’ entrant in the Orlando Summer League, which runs July 7-12 at the Magic’s practice facility, Amway Center.

Ten teams will play five games in six days beginning July 7, which will close with Kidd’s unofficial coaching debut against the Detroit Pistons at 5 p.m.

Rarely, if ever, does a team’s head coach lead a summer league squad, but King and Kidd are dealing with a special set of circumstances.

Kidd was hired late Wednesday evening and was done so without any previous coaching experience. The future Hall of Fame point guard retired on June 3 after 19 mostly brilliant seasons, the last of which came as a member of the Knicks. His coaching the summer league team will allow him to gain some experience sitting in the lead chair before training camp opens on October 1 at PNY Center in East Rutherford.

The summer league roster is not set yet and the only confirmed participant is second-year forward Kris Joseph. The 6-foot-7 former Syracuse star was called up from the D-League’s Springfield Armor, signed to a 10-day contract on April 2 and signed for the remainder of the season on April 12. He appeared in four regular season games for the Nets as a rookie.

Among other topics covered on Friday morning, King believes that backup point guard C.J. Watson will decline his $1.1 million player option for next season and hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. The possibility of Watson returning exists, but King said he and Kidd have already discussed ideas for a replacement. Watson averaged 6.8 points in 19 minutes per game over 80 contests in his first year with the Nets.

Aside from Deron Williams, the only other point guard on the roster beyond Watson is Tyshawn Taylor, who just completed his rookie season and will more than likely be on the summer league roster.

Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA