One of the reasons the Denver Nuggets former head coach George Karl was lobbying for an extension was to provide a little bit of job security for his assistant coaching staff whom make a much smaller salary than NBA head coaches. Melvin Hunt was one of Karl’s most trusted assistants, helping Karl with in-game strategies as well as player development. ESPN Denver’s Chris Bianchi reported Thursday that Hunt would be retained for the 2013-14 season and will lead the young Nuggets players in NBA Summer League competition.
Just confirmed: Melvin Hunt coming back. Coaching summer league team in Vegas. #Nuggets
— Chris Bianchi (@chrisdbianchi) July 11, 2013
Karl went to bat for Hunt, who was one of the player’s favorite coaches to work with and at least succeeded in convincing the team to retain Hunt even if it lead to his own downfall. Now that Brian Shaw has chosen to keep Hunt on his coaching staff, Denver has two coaches known for player development. This is a very good thing for the Nuggets’ young roster that includes Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee, Evan Founier, Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton and others.
Shaw is well-respected around the league by coaches and players alike due to his success as both a player and a coach. His decision to keep Hunt on his staff shows that Hunt is equally respected around the NBA. Shaw will be watching the young Nuggets from the stands during Summer League to see what they have and likely to see what Hunt has as a coach.
Shaw will not be the only one with eyes on Hunt in Las Vegas. Hunt will lead this very talented summer squad to victory in Vegas and will likely attract even more attention after he was rumored to be up for several head coaching gigs around the league this summer. Hunt will very likely be the next up and coming assistant to get a head coaching job.
For now, Denver has Hunt back for a fourth season as an assistant with the Nuggets and they will take advantage of his player development abilities and couple them with Shaw’s ability to do the same. This bodes well for the Nuggets and should help them take that next step. It begins in Vegas this week.