Blog Entry

Names popping up for Nuggets GM opening

Posted on: August 4, 2010 1:17 pm
Posted by Royce Young

One thing can be certain about whoever is hired as Mark Warkentien's replacement in Denver: Carmelo Anthony better like him.

Anthony is reportedly planning on testing free agency waters next summer and will leave a three-year extension on the table. So while Denver looks for a new general manager, whoever that person is, has a tall task in front of him.

Right now, one name has popped up in two places. Both Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! mentioned Masai Ujiri of the Raptors, who has ties with the Nuggets from a few years ago. Smith says, "there is legitimate interest both ways" and feels like Ujiri is almost assured at least an interview.

Another name is Wizards' executive Tommy Sheppard, also a former employee of the Nuggets. As Spears says, Nugget owner Stan Kroenke loves both Ujiri and Sheppard. Finally, Spears also mentioned former Suns GM David Griffin and described him as a "strong candidate."

Of course there are still guys like Kevin Pritchard and Danny Ferry on the market who are proven and well respected GMs. But it appears, at least in the early going, that Denver is interested in someone formerly connected to the franchise.

Whoever gets the job has a strong centerpiece for next season. But the real job is convincing 'Melo to stay and then finding the pieces to satisfy him if he does. Evidently Warkentien, one of the best GMs in the league, didn't fit in well with Kroenke and the organization. So maybe the job is a tall task altogther and not just because of 'Melo's extension.

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