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After going over a week without hearing much regarding the Denver Nuggets’ ongoing coaching search, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that general manager Tim Connelly spoke to Mike D’Antoni Tuesday about the Nuggets’ head coaching vacancy.
Denver general manager Tim Connelly conducted a sit-down with D’Antoni in California on Tuesday, league sources said.
D’Antoni’s vaunted running game fits into Denver’s determination that it wants to play faster in the future. Melvin Hunt, the interim coach in the wake of Brian Shaw’s firing, remains a strong contender to retain the full-time job, league sources said.
Woj also disclosed that former Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Malone recently emerged as another possible long-shot candidate.
Along with D’Antoni and Hunt, ex-Sacramento Kings coach Michael Malone has had conversations with Connelly and could soon emerge with a sit-down interview, league sources said.
The Nuggets front office contingent has kept their lips successfully sealed ever since it became clear D’Antoni and Melvin Hunt had emerged as the two leading candidates for the head-coaching job.
These recent details come as a sign that this coaching search may finally have an end in sight, especially with the NBA Draft in just over three weeks.
It’s no secret that Josh Kroenke and Connelly want to have a head coach in place prior to the draft on June 25th, as they’ve said on numerous occasions they want the draft and free-agency process to be a collective effort.
“I think the deadline is we want to have a coach as we head into the draft,” Connelly said to the Denver Posts’ Chris Dempsey. “It’s a pretty pivotal pick for us, and a pretty pivotal moment.”
With pre-draft workouts expected to pick up in the coming weeks and the draft soon after, history suggests this long, drawn-out search may finally be coming to an end.
Of the nine new coaching hires last offseason, six were filled prior to the draft. Just Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins and Byron Scott officially signed on with their respective teams after the 2014 draft had already taken place.