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Report: Nuggets closing in on Chris Finch as new assistant

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ESPN's Mark Stein says Denver is getting close to adding former Rockets assistant Chris Finch to the staff

Getty Images via the Mirror

In what would be a bit of a coup, the Denver Nuggets are in final negotiations to add former Houston Rockets assistant Chris Finch to the staff, in theory as a lead assistant. Per Marc Stein:

The 46-year-old Finch is incredibly well-respected and will likely cost a mint to acquire, but would be a great add to a staff that has seen several departures.  He is considered a great offensive mind who believes in great freedom on offense but very little on defense something he and Nuggets coach Michael Malone can probably agree on.  From the linked NBA interview:

JCF: I know you believe in freedom on offense and virtually no freedom on defense. What do you want to define this team offensively?

Chris Finch: I want us to always be on the attack. I want us to look and feel like a herd of horses coming down the floor every single time. I want us to really, first and foremost, put the defense under pressure every way possible and I want to see us share the ball. We want to run and keep the tempo high, but to do that we have to value the right shots and we have to do it unselfishly.

JCF: And what are your defensive goals?

CF: We need a total dedication to keeping the ball out of the paint; helping each other and making a wall of defenders anytime the ball gets near the paint and then challenging from there out. We really feel like if we do those two things – play with some tempo, space and freedom on offense, and we play with some physicality and sell-out to protect the paint on defense – then we can really take a step forward even from where we were last year. With a younger team, with a less experienced team, those will be challenges but it won’t keep us from making the improvements that we want to make as a team.

He's been considered for head coaching vacancies in the past but in the wake of Mike D'Antoni's hiring in Houston he came on the market late.  With Chris Fleming's departure from Denver, the Nuggets have been looking for a replacement to direct the offense.  Micah Nori was promoted to the position this offseason, but Finch has the bonafides to make that move on Nori's part a temporary one.

This would be a very impressive addition to the staff this late in the summer.  Stay tuned for more updates as the news comes in.