It looks like a full rebuilding process is on the slate in Denver. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Denver Nuggets have fired head coach George Karl. Less than a month ago, Karl was announced as the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year. Now he’s looking for a new job.
Technically, the firing is closer to a mutual parting of ways than an outright termination. Karl was set to enter the final year of his contract, and he was seeking an extension. The Nuggets were unwilling to meet his financial demands, so they decided to let him go.
In May, the Nuggets allowed general manager Masai Ujiri to make a lateral move to the Toronto Raptors, a team that was willing to give him a hefty pay raise. It’s clear that Nuggets ownership is more interested in pinching pennies than paying to keep top-flight talent around.
So, what’s next for the Nuggets?
The team’s players don’t know. Here’s what forward Kenneth Faried tweeted after finding out the news about Karl:
So we lost a GM now a coach what’s next!?
— Kenneth Faried (@KennethFaried35) June 6, 2013
With a new front office running the show in 2013-14, speculation is rampant that the Nuggets will undergo a complete rebuilding process.
As for Karl, expect rumors linking him to the head coaching position in Toronto. Dwane Casey currently holds that title, but the Raptors weren’t a good team last season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ujiri look to make a change.