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Stein: Mike Malone to get second interview with Denver Nuggets

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The Nuggets continue to take their time in the head coaching search, but might they be close to a hire?

Mike Malone with the Sacramento Kings.
Mike Malone with the Sacramento Kings.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets fired Brian Shaw back on March 3rd, and the team has been looking for a head coach to fill that void ever since. The Nuggets have had interviews and conversations with the following people: Melvin Hunt, Mike D'Antoni, Mike Malone, Mike Woodson, Don Newman, and perhaps some others too.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that the Nuggets had a spoken with ex-Kings head coach Mike Malone on June 3rd:

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 4th, ESPN's Marc Stein came out with this report:

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

So, "could soon emerge with a sit-down interview" from Woj turned out to be the very next day, according to Stein. And Stein followed that up with a report this evening (June 7th) that has the Nuggets wanting a second go-round with Malone.

Former Sacramento Kings coach Mike Malone has secured a second interview for the Denver Nuggets' coach vacancy, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Malone, who had his first interview with the Nuggets last week before the start of the NBA Finals, has solidified himself as a top candidate for the job alongside Nuggets interim coach Melvin Hunt.

It remains to be seen whether former Suns, Knicks and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni will likewise get a second interview for the post after sitting down with Nuggets officials last week as well.

Notice the wording above of "has solidified himself as A top candidate for the job..." Stein didn't say he is "the top candidate" just that he is a top candidate - presumably among other candidates. So, while we might think Malone is pulling ahead, we still don't know who the top candidate is, and we may not know until an actual hire is made.

The Nuggets have a pre-draft working Monday morning (June 8th) with Kentucky big man Willie-Cauley Stein - so coaching news likely won't come until after that workout is over and the media has left. But it feels like we are really close to having a hire. While it may or may not wind up being Malone, a name and a hire should be right around the corner. Hopefully.

If you'd like, watch this 22 minute press conference with Mike Malone from his introductory presser with the Sacramento Kings.

And for the NBA Draft folks out there, Jusuf Nurkic knows Mario Hezonja a little bit. And Nurkic Tweeted about Mario today. Would have been awesome to see #DraftDaveFranco with it.