It has been reported that newly hired Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie has narrowed down his list of coaching candidates to three men. Denver Nuggets assistant Melvin Hunt, Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale and Memphis Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger are all on Hinkie’s radar. With that being said, it appears that Hunt has the best chance of becoming Philadelphia’s new head coach.
“The Sixers have not formally made contact to begin the process, but there has been some talk through the back channels,” an anonymous source said, according to Philly.com.
Hunt is the man the 76ers may want, but he will only become available if the Nuggets do not hire him as their next head coach. Rumor has it Denver believes Hunt has what it takes to take over for the recently fired George Karl and lead the team to the NBA Finals, something Karl could never do. If Philadelphia did take Hunt away from the Nuggets, it would be a devastating blow considering he was widely regarded as the team’s top assistant.
The 43-year-old has spent three years as an assistant for Denver. He has been a scout and assistant for the Houston Rockets for five years, an assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers for one season and an assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers for five years. He has never been a head coach in the NBA, but he was interviewed by Hinkie to be the associate head coach for the Rockets three years ago prior to his stint in Denver.
Hunt has had a tremendous amount of success everywhere he has been, which is why the 76ers would desperately like to interview him for the job. However, the Nuggets are not going to fire Karl and then watch their top assistant depart for a head coaching job without at least a discussion. I have to imagine Hunt will take the head coaching job in Denver if it is offered.