As reported by Brett Pollakof of NBC Sports, the Nuggets GM has said that interim head coach, Melvin Hunt, “will be one of the candidates” when the team looks for someone to fill that spot long-term.
The Nuggets were dredging through a very rough patch of 19 losses in 21 games when they decided to fire Brian Shaw and replace him with assistant coach Melvin Hunt. Since then, the Nuggets have been playing some respectable basketball. Hunt has been able to turn around the Nuggets to the tune of 6 wins in his first 8 games as head coach.
That being said, Hunt has not guaranteed himself the head coaching spot when the offseason rolls around. Via Ben Hochman of The Denver Post:
“As an organization, we have all been impressed with the job Melvin has done thus far,” general manager Tim Connelly said by phone Monday. “When the season concludes, he will be one of the candidates as we begin an exhaustive search to find a head coach.”
Obviously Denver is going to take a better look into the coaching candidates this time around. After drawing the short straw with a first-time head coach, they’re going to want to make sure they find the perfect fit. Hunt is known in the organization and he has gained some respect from the players as well during his five-year stint as an assistant coach. However, there are still other known coaches without a job that the Nuggets could take a look at this offseason. Mike D’Antoni has been a person of interest, and it makes sense that the Nuggets could be looking for someone that has experience success in the past.
It all comes down to whether the Nuggets want to try out another first-time head coach in Hunt, or go the safer route and find someone who has already had successful experiences in the NBA.