The Nuggets quickly moved on after holding only a brief conversation on the topic of Rivers, but since then, the Los Angeles Clippers have been engaged in extensive talks for the veteran coach. What’s interesting is that the latest reports indicate that the Clips are now trying to land Rivers without surrendering a pick.
Had Denver gone further in its talks, it’s entirely possible that Rivers would be coaching the Nuggets next season. Of course, it’s also possible that discussions ended at such an early stage because Rivers had his eye on Los Angeles and no place else.
At any rate, the Nuggets have narrowed their coaching focus to Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw. If they can’t have Rivers, apparently they’re willing to settle for one of two other defensive-minded former players as their head coach.
Denver has undergone massive turnover since the 2012-13 season ended. The team fired Coach of the Year winner George Karl, lost general manager Masai Ujiri to the Toronto Raptors and then watched vice president of basketball operations Pete D’Alessandro bolt for the Sacramento Kings.
And now, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post, two more execs—director of player personnel Mike Bratz and scouting director Dan Tolzman—are also gone.
Things are going to look very different in Denver’s front office (and on the sidelines) next year. Had talks gone any further, Rivers could very well have been a part of the Nuggets’ new wave.
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