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George Karl Rumors: Nets, Raptors, Grizzlies

In a surprising turn of events, the Nuggets informed George Karl earlier today that they wouldn't be retaining him for the final year of his contract, parting ways with the reigning Coach of the Year and beginning a search for a new head coach. While we've already heard that Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw are among Denver's likely targets to replace Karl, there are also a number of reports surfacing on Karl's ouster from Denver and what his future might hold. Let's round them up….

  • Don't expect the Nets to be an aggressive suitor for Karl, according to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post, who hears from a source that Brooklyn doesn't have much interest.
  • Karl also appears unlikely to follow Masai Ujiri to Toronto. Grantland's Zach Lowe tweets that Karl isn't a candidate to replace Dwane Casey this summer, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports adds (via Twitter) that even if the Raptors' job opens up next summer, Karl isn't expected to be a candidate.
  • The Pistons also won't pursue Karl, since they're already close to making a hire, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of
  • As we heard earlier today, the Grizzlies have some interest in Karl. According to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (via Twitter), if the Grizz can't work out a new deal with Lionel Hollins, they'll shift their focus to Karl, Dave Joerger, and Alvin Gentry.
  • We've heard the Clippers mentioned as a suitor for Karl multiple times, and L.A. does indeed have "strong interest" in him, says Ramona Shelburne of (via Twitter).
  • Mannix estimates that, based on his last couple contracts, Karl's price tag figures to be about $4-5MM annually for three or four years, with the potential to climb higher if there's a bidding war (Twitter links).
  • Karl's desire for an extension and the Nuggets' unwillingness to give him one was cited as the primary reason the two sides parted ways, but Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida hears there were a few other differences in opinion as well. Among them, according to Tomasson: Management placed the blame on Karl for losing the Golden State series; management wanted JaVale McGee to play more after he received a big four-year contract; and management would have liked to see young players such as Evan Fournier played more often and veterans like Andre Miller played less, even if it cost the team a few of its 57 regular-season wins (all four Twitter links).

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