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Denver Nuggets Reportedly Tried to Pry Doc Rivers from Celtics After Firing Karl

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 18: Head Coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics reacts in the fourth quarter during the final minutes of a 103-105 loss to the Miami Heat on March 18, 2013 at theTD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Heat kept their winning streak going to 24 games in a row, which is the second longest in NBA history.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2013

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Denver Nuggets offered the Boston Celtics a first-round pick in exchange for head coach Doc Rivers during the week of June 10.

The Nuggets quickly moved on after holding only a brief conversation on the topic of Rivers, but since then, the Los Angeles Clippers have been engaged in extensive talks for the veteran coach. What's interesting is that the latest reports indicate that the Clips are now trying to land Rivers without surrendering a pick.

Had Denver gone further in its talks, it's entirely possible that Rivers would be coaching the Nuggets next season. Of course, it's also possible that discussions ended at such an early stage because Rivers had his eye on Los Angeles and no place else.

At any rate, the Nuggets have narrowed their coaching focus to Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw. If they can't have Rivers, apparently they're willing to settle for one of two other defensive-minded former players as their head coach.

Denver has undergone massive turnover since the 2012-13 season ended. The team fired Coach of the Year winner George Karl, lost general manager Masai Ujiri to the Toronto Raptors and then watched vice president of basketball operations Pete D'Alessandro bolt for the Sacramento Kings.

And now, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post, two more execs—director of player personnel Mike Bratz and scouting director Dan Tolzman—are also gone.

Things are going to look very different in Denver's front office (and on the sidelines) next year. Had talks gone any further, Rivers could very well have been a part of the Nuggets' new wave.

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