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Denver Nuggets coaching candidates coming Fast and Furious

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

If you've been following me on Twitter, you've seen the fun I've been having with the Nuggets coaching search. Many folks have been skeptical about the way the Nuggets have been conducting their coaching search, or rather the lack of leaks that have been out there.

The Nuggets message has been clear since before they fired Brian Shaw. They don't want rumors to rule the day. There were plenty of folks wondering if Shaw's time in Denver was drawing near a close, but nobody could have guessed the timing of the firing on March 3rd.

And in the coaching search, the Nuggets have remained steadfast in the fact that they were going to take their time, and didn't want the process to be played out through the media. Well, we got to Day 93 of the coaching search before news broke that the team had interviewed Mike D'Antoni in California and had been having conversations with former Kings head coach Mike Malone.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

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.

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.

And on June 3rd we got a very curious Tweet from the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn on former Knicks and Hawks head coach Mike Woodson, who is currently an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hearing former <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/knicks?src=hash">#knicks</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hawks?src=hash">#hawks</a> head coach Mike Woodson could be next to interview for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nuggets?src=hash">#nuggets</a> vacant position.</p>&mdash; gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) <a href="https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/606117230430986244">June 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Could the Nuggets be looking at Woodson as a head coach or to fill an assistant role? Woodson holds a career head coaching record of 315-365 (.463 win percentage).

And today we got a couple new tidbits of information too from Marc Stein of ESPN and Chams Charania of Real GM. From Stein:

The Denver Nuggets on Wednesday interviewed former Sacramento Kings coach Mike Malone for their coaching vacancy, according to league sources.

Malone posted a 39-67 record with the Sacramento Kings over his one and half seasons with the team.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Nuggets interest in Michael Malone as coach? During &#39;13 playoff loss to G-State, Den regarded Dubs asst Malone as real brains of operation.</p>&mdash; Mark Kiszla (@markkiszla) <a href="https://twitter.com/markkiszla/status/606516891453124610">June 4, 2015</a></blockquote>

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And from  Charania, the Nuggets have received permission from the Washington Wizards to talk to Don Newman:

The Denver Nuggets received permission to interview Washington Wizards assistant Don Newman and discussed the franchise's vacant head coaching job with him in the past week, league sources told RealGM.

Newman's 16 NBA seasons as an assistant coach - including an eight-year stint with the San Antonio Spurs where he developed strong defensive principles and closely worked with Tim Duncan - give him the credibility to discuss a head coaching position. Since joining Randy Wittman's staff in 2012, Newman has served as the architect of an improved Wizards' defense.

The Nuggets' front office needed to get permission from the Wizards to discuss their open position with Newman, who spoke to GM Tim Connelly.

So we have:

1.) Melvin Hunt, career record of 10-13 (.435 win percentage)

2.) Mike D'Antoni, career record 455-426 (.516 win percentage)

3.) Mike Malone, career record of 39-67 (.368 win percentage)

4.) Mike Woodson, career record 315-365 (.463 win percentage)

5.) Don Newman, never been a head coach. He has been an assistant coach for the Bucks (1999-2003), Nets (2003-04), Spurs (2004-12), Wizards (2012-present). He's a defensive minded guy, that has been a long-time assistant ... sort of in the same light as a Tom Thibodeau (not saying he is Thibs).

There we have it, could still be some names that come to light as this process continues to play out. With names leaking out, the Nuggets may be very close to picking their man.