The Denver Nuggets like to try to keep things quiet, whether it be who they're going to draft, trades that could be made, signings, and especially this 2015 coaching search. People around Nuggets Nation seem to be a little impatient with the current search for a new head coach.
The Oklahoma City Thunder already fired (Scott Brooks) and hired a new coach in Billy Donovan. The Orlando Magic are rumored to be on the verge of hiring Scott Skiles, the New Orleans Pelicans are rumored to names like Jeff Van Gundy and the recently fired former Bulls head coach, Tom Thibodeau. Heck, the Bulls let go of their coach in the same day Fred Hoiberg's name came into play. What about the Nuggets?
Well, it's been quiet for the Nuggets. It would appear that the three main candidates are still out there for them in: Melvin Hunt, Mike D'Antoni, and Alvin Gentry. We have no idea if they've talked to D'Antoni or Gentry, but we do know they have chatted with Hunt - on a variety of topics (check out our podcast with GM Tim Connelly for the Hunt talk). What about the dark-horse candidates? That's anyone's guess.
But on May 29th, we did get a little nugget on the Nuggets. Well, maybe ...
Senior writer for Bleacher Report, Jared Zwerling put out this curious Tweet:
Also from a source: Melvin Hunt is currently the front-runner for the Nuggets' coaching job. Mike D'Antoni has not interviewed with Denver.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) May 28, 2015
Back on April 16th, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski had this to say about the Nuggets coaching search:
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.
Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach David Vanterpool will be one of a handful of assistant coaches contacted about the job, sources said.
Woj, the Denver Post's Chris Dempsey, and Shams Charania of Real GM have been getting 99.9% of all Nuggets breaking news. Woj was even in Denver, prior to the start of the 2013 season, and penned a piece on Josh Kroenke's rebuilding efforts with the Nuggets - since that time he's been breaking just about everything Nuggets related.
If we are connecting the dots, it would appear that either Kroenke or Connelly gave Woj a list of coaching candidates that he ran in his piece. Perhaps it was someone else, but don't be surprised when Woj breaks who the Nuggets next coach will be. And if Woj listed Mike D'Antoni among the names Denver would be talking to, why would they not have talked to him yet? There's always a chance they have not, but it would just seem odd that they hadn't.
And today we got another Tweet from Jared Zwerling:
Chatted w/ Mike D'Antoni on the links: "Just hanging out, playing golf & see what life brings." Would like to coach, waiting for right spot.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) May 29, 2015
Perhaps Zwerling is close with a lot of people around D'Antoni, Mike was in New York for just about three and a half seasons - a place Zwerling lists as one of his own three home bases on Twitter. Or perhaps it was D'Antoni who told Zwerling that he had yet to speak with the Nuggets yesterday, and then they had a conversation again today while playing golf together or being on a gold course in some capacity together.
In the world of sources, we are left to speculate on the motives of where information is coming from. There is no timetable for Denver to hire a new coach, but Connelly has indicated they'd like to get a deal done before the draft on June 25th, to Chris Dempsey.
Team president Josh Kroenke spoke at length about the search and other topics Thursday with The Denver Post. The most pressing issue is securing a coach, and Kroenke said that process has gone as expected.
"It's exactly how we thought it would go," Kroenke said. "We've had several conversations with a lot of people. I think that it benefits us to talk to as many people as we can. We have some people in the back of our mind that we think would be great fits. I've talked to enough people, and going through the process before, your coaching hire is probably going to be your hardest hire because there's so much that goes into that role in today's sporting industry."
Again, if the Nuggets have had several conversations with folks, it's hard to believe they haven't had some kind of contact with D'Antoni. Or perhaps the Nuggets had internal conversations and are either waiting to talk to D'Antoni or are passing on talking to him.
We are all in the dark together on this one, and that's the way the Nuggets want it.