Brian Shaw would make for an excellent hire by the Denver Nuggets

Brian Shaw during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. - Mark J. Rebilas

With the GM search now over, the Nuggets are getting serious about finding their next head coach.

Josh Kroenke found his man in hiring Tim Connelly as the next Vice President of Basketball Operations. The Nuggets search for a new head coach begins today as Brian Shaw is in town and Lionel Hollins is set to interview with the team on Wednesday, June 19th.

Shaw has been a hot name for several years around the NBA, but he has yet to choose where his first head coaching gig will be. Why not choose the Nuggets?

Shaw has been on the Indiana Pacers bench for the past two seasons. The Pacers took the Miami Heat to six games in the second round of the 2012 playoffs after going 42-24 in the regular season. That was after taking out Dwight Howard's Magic 4-1 in the first round. This season the Pacers improved to 49-32 in the regular season. In the 2013 playoffs the Pacers defeated the Hawks 4-2, the Knicks 4-2, and again pushed the Heat - but this time it was in the Eastern Conference Finals and this time they got to Game 7. That was the Pacers' first trip to the ECF since 2004.

The two biggest concerns surrounding Shaw?

1.) He wants to run Tex Winter's triangle offense that Phil Jackson had so much success with and nobody knows if the Nuggets personnel can handle it!

So, if you're afraid of the triangle - that tweet should ease your mind a bit. Are you worried about the triangle because you don't really know what it is? Well, I found the following that breaks down the triangle in an easy to understand video (take two minutes and watch it):


Constant motion and constant ball movement? That sounds like an offense that I would enjoy watching and one that would suit these Nuggets quite well. This current roster built on a fast-break style that has been predicated on finding outlet passes, running lanes, and making the right decisions to get the easiest shots.

With play-makers galore in Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala (if he comes back), Danilo Gallinari (when he comes back), Andre Miller, Evan Fournier (has shown a knack for movement and creativity), and Julyan Stone (if he comes back) the Nuggets would have the right guys to run the triangle.

What about the big men? Kenneth Faried would need to develop that little jumper, along with McGee and they both would need to work on their passing skills. I do believe McGee is an underrated passer and he has shown that he's a willing and creative passer.

Don't be afraid of the triangle.

2.) Why hasn't Shaw been hired yet?

Shaw has had numerous interviews and numerous teams chasing him. Just this offseason Shaw has been linked to the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and now your Denver Nuggets. Shaw also wound up with the Pacers because he was passed over by the Los Angeles Lakers for Mike Brown, despite Kobe Bryant publicly lobbying for him back in 2011:

"I feel all of the players believe in coach B-Shaw," Bryant said the Lakers' Friday morning shootaround. "We have such a rapport with him. He's been with us for such a long time. We all have a bit of a bias towards him. I don't want to get in the way of management. But we've all kind of had our eye on him for a while."

But, like we could see here with Melvin Hunt, Jim Buss wanted a fresh voice and did not hire from within with a Phil Jackson guy. Shaw may have gotten a raw deal with the Lakers, but why hasn't he taken a job yet? Perhaps Shaw hasn't found the right team. The Nets eagerness to win and knack for bizarre moves could have scared Shaw off. Billy King chose to hire Jason Kidd over Shaw - in a move that surprised many.

The Pistons have been rudderless for years now and the 76ers job isn't the most appealing one around either. The Clippers? They are flirting with Doc Rivers (and chasing Kevin Garnett too) and Lionel Hollins too. Maybe they will choose Shaw, but the Nuggets have their shot.

During the season Andrew Feinstein called the Pacers, "Nuggets East". The two franchises have deep teams and talented teams. The Nuggets roster should attract a guy like Shaw.

Shaw fits the Nuggets young molding:

Josh Kroenke is 33 years old, Tim Connelly is 36 years old, and Brian Shaw is 47 years old.

The Kroenke's have shown they are all about giving people a shot. Masai Ujiri, Connelly, and hopefully Shaw. Growing with this young team and young front office would give the Nuggets a chance to do something that may not be unique, but would be smart. A fresh voice and a guy hungry to prove his NBA worth is the ideal fit for the Nuggets.

Shaw has a strong track record as both a player and assistant coach.

Shaw has been an assistant coach in the NBA since the 2004-05 season, spending seven years with the Lakers prior to moving to Indiana the past two seasons. He was born and raised in Oakland, and played his final four years with Los Angeles before joining Phil Jackson's staff.

Shaw has won a total of five NBA championships -- three as a player, two as an assistant coach -- and was integral in Indiana's recent success. Winners are always appealing as leaders.

Shaw's background:

Shaw knows about trying to make it in the NBA. He's a former first-round pick, 24th overall by the Celtics in the 1988 draft out of UC Santa Barbara. He spent his second season in Italy after the Celtics failed to offer him an adequate contract following his rookie season (where he made $75,000 - different minimum than today's six figure deals). Shaw did come back to the NBA where he played for seven different teams before settling in with the Lakers for his final four seasons.

He is well respected by people around the NBA and Paul Klee from The Gazette, in Colorado Springs, had a fantastic article about hiring Shaw back on June 6th.

Rather, the 47-year-old is the ideal fit because player development was central to the growth of the Pacers. Shaw mentored George and helped the Fresno State product mature into an All-Star. Shaw spent a summer working with Lance Stephenson and turned "Born Ready" into actually ready. The transformation of Roy Hibbert was not lost on Shaw.

Playoff success and player development. I'm on board with Shaw, let's hope he impresses the Nuggets and they get on board too.

Shaw's history as a player:

1988-1989 Boston Celtics
1989-1990 Il Messaggero Roma (Italy)
1990-1992 Boston Celtics
1992-1994 Miami Heat
1994-1997 Orlando Magic
1997-1998 Golden State Warriors
1998 Philadelphia 76ers
1999 Portland Trail Blazers
1999-2003 Los Angeles Lakers

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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