Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool has interviewed for the Nuggets head coaching job, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who first identified Vanterpool as a candidate for the vacancy in April. Vanterpool is nonetheless not among the favorites for the position, Wojnarowski writes, pointing instead to the interview itself as a boon for the 42-year-old who has just three years of experience as an NBA assistant coach. Wojnarowski refers to interim coach Melvin Hunt, Michael Malone and Mike D’Antoni as strong candidates for the job, the same three names Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post identified as known candidates in a story from overnight.
Other names have nonetheless emerged as well, as the team has interviewed Wizards assistant Don Newman, according to Shams Charania of RealGM, while Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe heard that Mike Woodson might get an interview, too. The Nuggets are believed to want their next coach in place soon so that the new hire can help the team prepare for the draft, Dempsey writes, and an increasing number of coaches around the league foresee the team going with Hunt, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported. Hunt would seemingly have the advantage of incumbency, and it’s clear that the Nuggets players are behind him. Malone is so far the only candidate reported to have drawn a second interview, though the Nuggets are clearly familiar with Hunt’s credentials.
Vanterpool interviewed for the Sixers head coaching job in 2013 and seemingly became the front-runner for that position at one point. That came just one year after he joined the Blazers, a gig that Vanterpool landed after he served in the Thunder’s front office as director of player personnel, Wojnarowski notes. Before that, he was an assistant coach for CSKA Moscow under European coaching icon and current Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, as Wojnarowski also points out.