Awkward Avery/Harris reunion on horizon?

June, 9, 2010
6/09/10
12:03
PM CT
It appears likely that Avery Johnson will soon be leaving ESPN for the New Jersey Nets. (UPDATE: ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that a verbal agreement has been reached.)

That'd be welcome news to Mark Cuban, since Johnson is still on the Mavs' payroll for $4 million next season. Every buck Avery would earn from New Jersey would be a dollar saved for Cuban.

However, I wonder whether Devin Harris would welcome a reunion with his former coach.

I've read that Avery's relationship with Harris is one of the reasons he makes sense for the Nets. Perhaps those folks don't remember their time together in Dallas.

Not that there's bad blood between the two, but Harris wasn't happy that his coach clearly lacked trust in him. Avery made a big production out of giving Harris the bulk of the play-calling responsibilities before the 2007-08 season ... only to publicly yank them away after about 20 games.

Harris didn't want to leave Dallas when he was dealt for Jason Kidd months later, but he did find one silver lining. He figured his game could flourish after getting away from Avery's "controlled system."

Of course, Johnson seemed to gain a greater appreciation for Harris once he was gone and the Mavs failed to immediately click for Jason Kidd. And perhaps Harris misses Avery more than he thought after playing for a terrible team last season.

Nevertheless, of all the reasons for the Nets to hire the coach with the best winning percentage in NBA history, the pre-existing relationship with New Jersey's point guard doesn't seem like it should be high on the list.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9