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Report: Nuggets begin coaching search, Mike D’Antoni and Mike Malone are candidates

Mike D'Antoni

Mike D’Antoni


The Nuggets fired head coach Brian Shaw in early March after a disastrous start to the season. They had something of a turnaround under interim coach Melvin Hunt, who will have a chance to keep the job permanently. But Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Denver’s front office will consider many candidates, with that search beginning this week and including NBA coaching veterans like Mike D’Antoni and Mike Malone.

The Denver Nuggets will begin their coaching search on Thursday, a process that will include serious consideration of interim coach Melvin Hunt, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

After replacing Brian Shaw, Hunt had the Nuggets playing much better basketball, finishing a 30-52 season on a much more competitive 10-13 run.
Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly and president Josh Kroenke plan a broad search with a candidate list that will include – among others – ex-head coaches Michael Malone, Mike D’Antoni, Scott Skiles and Alvin Gentry, league sources said.

The report also lists Blazers assistant David Vanterpool and highly regarded college coaches Billy Donovan and Fred Hoiberg among the names the Nuggets will explore. If Scott Brooks is let go in Oklahoma City, he will also be a candidate.

There’s no clear answer to who would be the best fit, considering nobody has any clue what this Denver roster is going to look like going forward. Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried could very easily find themselves playing elsewhere before the offseason is through, and the rest of the roster is a mishmash of middling vets and young players, with rookie big man Jusuf Nurkic having the most long-term keeper potential.

Malone absolutely deserves another shot as an NBA coach after being fired by Sacramento earlier in the season under bizarre circumstances. D’Antoni’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years thanks to unsuccessful stints with the Knicks and Lakers, but if the Nuggets put together an uptempo roster, he could be a fit. Hunt has done enough in his short time at the helm to earn consideration. There are plenty of directions they could go, but it sounds like we won’t get an answer until they’ve explored all options.