The Denver Nuggets have focused their search for a head coach on Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw and will only consider other candidates if they are unable to hire one of those two coaches, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Lionel Hollins took the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals this season. (Getty Images)The Nuggets’ head-coaching job became open with the firing of George Karl on June 6. The Nuggets are scheduled to interview Hollins, the former Memphis Grizzlies head coach, on Saturday in Denver. Shaw, the Indiana Pacersassociate head coach, is expected to interview next week, but an exact date has yet to be set.
The Nuggets have a list of other coaching candidates, including former Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry, that will only be seriously considered if Hollins or Shaw are not hired.
Hollins led the Grizzlies to a franchise-best 56 wins and their first-ever trip to the Western Conference finals this season before the franchise’s new ownership and management decided not to offer him a new contract. He had a 196-155 record in two stints coaching the Grizzlies. Hollins interviewed with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Shaw coached under Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers and is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers. The former NBA player has never been a head coach, but has interviewed for numerous head-coaching vacancies. Shaw has interviewed with the Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, who hired Jason Kidd, and could also interview with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Nuggets are also strongly leaning toward promoting assistant general manager Pete D’Alessandro to general manager, a league source said. D’Alessandro interviewed with the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday for their GM opening. The Nuggets are searching for a replacement for their previous GM, Masai Ujiri, who left to take over the Toronto Raptors’ basketball operations.