Western Notes: Shaw, Thunder, Hunt

Former Nuggets coach Brian Shaw released a statement through his agent, Jerome Stanley, regarding his recent firing by Denver, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post relays. Having been a part of five NBA Championship teams, I know how difficult it is to make the commitment necessary to achieve that goal,” said Shaw. “It takes sacrifice for the greater good … and time, for a club to get to the championship level. Players, coaches, management and ownership all must share that commitment and build toward that goal. It is not an easy task. I am very proud of the effort that my staff and I put in while coaching the team. I also appreciate the support that I received from the KSE group. Finally, I believe that the Nuggets will grow to be a championship level club and give the fans in Denver a much deserved Championship. In time.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • The Thunder are attempting the difficult feat of remaining in contention while undergoing a significant overhaul of their roster, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman writes. Seven out of the 15 players on OKC’s roster weren’t with the team at the end of last season, and since the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign, five players have been acquired via trade, Slater notes.
  • Oklahoma City intends to retain both Kyle Singler and Enes Kanter, who become restricted free agents after the season, Slater adds. The Thunder are operating with the idea that a massive luxury tax bill next season will be softened in 2016/17 when the NBA’s new television deal kicks in and the salary cap increases as a result, Slater notes.
  • Nuggets interim coach Melvin Hunt inherits the difficult task of piloting a team that has underperformed all season, and had reportedly quit on former coach Shaw, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post writes. It’s bittersweet,” Hunt said. “This is not the way you want it to happen, because there are a lot of people involved that are impacted by this. At the same time, in the pit of my stomach, there is a feeling of excitement because I love to compete and I’m ready for the challenges.
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