Coaching Rumors: Nuggets, Donovan, Cheeks

Michael Malone‘s candidacy for the Nuggets head coaching job is gathering momentum, but an increasing number of coaches around the league envision interim coach Melvin Hunt getting the position, tweets Marc Stein of In any case, it appears that Denver is drawing closer to a hire, as it’s believed that the team would like to have its new coach help with draft prep, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Here’s more coaching news from around the NBA:

  • Mike Miller lauded Billy Donovan‘s demeanor, preparation and communication when Kevin Durant asked him about the incoming Thunder head coach, as Miller tells Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. Miller makes it clear he harbors no shortage of affection for his college coach, saying to Slater that it will be “very weird” to go against Donovan in the NBA. Miller wouldn’t necessarily have to do so if he declines his player option, worth nearly $2.855MM, and signs with the Thunder this summer, of course, but the Cavs reserve didn’t suggest that such a scenario was on his mind.
  • The Thunder are increasingly serious about rehiring Maurice Cheeks as an assistant coach, according to Stein, who notes the strong relationship between Cheeks and Russell Westbrook (Twitter links). Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first identified Cheeks as a possible candidate for an assistant’s job in Oklahoma City, a role that would reprise the one he filled from 2009/10 to 2012/13.
  • Remaining with the Magic to serve as an assistant under Scott Skiles remains a “strong option” for James Borrego, Stein also reports (Twitter link). Borrego, who was Orlando’s interim coach and a candidate to remain in the head coaching position on a long-term basis before the Skiles hire, has drawn interest from the Pelicans and had talks with the Thunder about assistant coaching jobs, as Stein previously reported.
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