Rumor: Karl’s status with Nuggets now “unsettled”

According to ESPNLA.com’s Ramona Shelburne, current Nuggets head coach and reigning NBA Coach of the Year, George Karl, might be on the hot seat. Per Shelburne:

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl’s status has become “unsettled” following the departure of general manager Masai Ujiri for the Toronto Raptors, two sources close to the situation said late Saturday night.

Karl, who was named the NBA’s coach of the year following the Nuggets’ 57-win season, is not in any imminent danger of losing his job, the sources stressed. But Ujiri’s departure, coupled with Denver’s disappointing first-round playoff exit, has shaken things up in Denver to the point that Karl, who is under contract for just one more season, could, incredibly, begin the season on the hot seat after winning the league’s top coaching honor for the first time in his long career, instead of beginning extension talks.

This is somewhat surprising news. Throughout nearly a decade the Nuggets roster has been totally transformed. The front office has repeatedly switched personnel. Yet with each new season George Karl has remained head coach. When Masai Ujiri first came on as general manager of the Nuggets, rumors swirled that he was unhappy with Karl, yet a few months later he inked him to a potential six-year extension. Now, after only several days since Ujiri departed the Nuggets, rumors are again swirling that Karl’s position with the franchise is less than 100 percent secure. Of course, the fact the Clippers recently inquired about Karl certainly helps expedite this speculation; nevertheless, one can’t help but wonder which high-ranking Nuggets officials are more fans of Karl than others.

  • Josh Weil

    Thanks for the great news! It’s time for Karl to move on.

  • Anthony Santistevan

    A change in head coach might be what the Nuggets need….too many first round exists are tied to George Karl. I’m tired of regular season success and losing in the first round

  • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

    I think GK leaving is the only hope for the Nuggets

    If Masai really was the mastermind behind the last couple of drafts, then this batch of young players may be the only ones we get. & we all know how young players develop under GK (SPOILER ALERT): not well.

    JaVale needs playing time to come into his own.
    Jordan needs playing time so we can finally see what he’s capable of.
    Evan needs playing time so he can develop properly (& get Miller off the court)
    Only reason we were able to see what Manimal could do was because Nene got injured. Imagine if Nene didn’t get injured. Manimal would be in the same spot that Hamilton is.

    Lots of options out there. Hopefully they go in a new direction

    P.S. George Karl would be a perfect fit in LA. Great reg.season, Nothing in the post.

  • herpderpnuggets

    Probably the only good news I have heard in the last week…best wishes for a good draft and hopefully iggy will re-sign with us!! The scouting roster came out or whatever you call it, a couple of centers are gonna work out for the nuggets soon, pretty excited.

    • dynamo.joe

      I think Muscala and Bullock are 2 really good guys the Nuggets are bringing in for workouts.

      • herpderpnuggets

        yeah Muscala looks great and the CSU center actually looks pretty impressive too…better post moves than javale and kosta

  • Mikey K

    I have a list in my head of potential replacements should Josh need any help!

  • tjorda23

    How many years of first round exits is too much? 5? 10? 15? There has to be a limit.. Have we reached that point?

    • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

      definitely. hopefully this past season was the final straw…probably not, though.

      • Mikey K

        Don’t be too sure if Kroenke hasn’t exactly shot down the rumor mill about Karl and the Clippers. Sure they’d love to have JVG, but he seems content with his ABC gig, and really who else has a style or experience that fits the Clippers’ current roster, especially if they can get CP3 to re-up?

  • trank

    bullshit- the nuggets don’t need one of those authoritarian assholes with a book full of plays. there are several young nugs ready to take off and george is the best thing for them,

    • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

      Are…Are you serious?

      George Karl is the best thing for young players ready to take off?

      If you mean take off from the team, then yes…

      lol I don’t understand what you GK apologists see in him.

      • trank

        maybe he didn’t play the guys you preferred…. hamilton wasn’t ready- and maybe he didn’t find enough minutes for fournier earlier….. and maybe he played miller too much… but he won a lot of games with a deep young roster playing fast and loose- i’d rather loose a few games than get bored by some east coast star driven half court BS.

        • Stompy

          This right here is the problem. Look where the San Antonio Spurs, who some consider the most boring team in the NBA, are. Karl hasn’t gotten it done for 8 years now, and yet you would rather them play fast and not win when it matters.

          • trank

            SA have two of the best players in the game still and they’ve been working together for many years- that’s why they win. nuggets could have beaten them in the playoffs if healthy – even with all their inexperience and lack of stars because of karl.

  • wij

    As Karl is still under contract Kroenke would still have to pay him for next season no matter what right? If that is the case we’ve seen his penny pinching ways of late, so Karl would be safe – for this season at least.

    • Mikey K

      If I remember, they can “terminate” him or “part ways” or whatever BS you want to call it and they’d only owe the difference of what the Clips pay and what his Nuggets contract would have paid him next year unless the Clips pay him more then Denver’s off the hook.

  • High Plains Drifter

    Karl has maximized this roster’s potential. That potential does not include getting out of the 1st round as the roster is currently constructed. The team would likely be worse with a new coach. Wanna get out of the 1st round? Change the roster, not the coach.

    • heykyleinsf

      sorry.. but that’s been done. Have you seen Nene, Birdman, JR, Melo, Marcus, Felton,Kleiza, KMart, Chauncey, Rudy, AAA et al lately? (I’m sure I forgot as many as I remembered)

    • Stompy

      This is complete nonsense. Time and time again, Karl has been out coached in the playoffs, this latest post season being most evident. The only time he was ever out of the first round with the Nuggets, he had Chauncey Billups, who was the coach on the floor and probably a better coach than Karl was.

      • heykyleinsf

        I think they should do like the Avs did.. and it is a very similar situation.. Everyone liked Sacco as well.. but knew in their heart of hearts it would never happen.. Nice guys Sacco and Karl.. but taking us nowhere..

        don’t be surprised if the wheels are turning here.

        Chauncey for the Nugs.. St Patrick for the Avs.. There’s a lot of
        Denver fans that don’t think too highly of the Kroenkes right now
        after letting Ujiri go.. Throw in Walt Weiss for the Rockies and how Elway has turned around the Broncos.

        What’s all that’s left? Nuggets. And Chauncey.

      • Mikey K

        FYI, above I said Shaw was the first name on my replacement coach list, Chauncey is #2 on that list.

  • Aaron

    I think this blog continues to under-estimate the stamp GK has put on this roster (not to mention Masai). With a new system, especially a defensive-heavy system ala Jeff Van Gundy,. . there would probably be massive roster overhaul. I would hope that Josh K. and those in power would see the need to have a coach who shares the run/athletic/matchup philosophy that George has/had. But, this is George’s team, no doubt.

    I think GK should go. I have for a while. But, I like his system, and would almost like him better as a GM. I don’t want to start over. We’re not that far off. People saw how much trouble Golden State gave the Spurs, and the Spurs are possibly winning the title this year.

    Let’s not blow this thing up with a coach out of left field. Obviously GK was not the X-’s and O’s genius anyway. So, we don’t need an aggressive change here. Many of the pieces are in place. Let’s get some shooting and put this squad back out there.

    • Fraser Nixon

      Agree, Karl’s system isn’t the problem- the problem is the way he uses his rotation.
      If there is someone else in charge of rotations and maybe 1 or 2 roster tweaks I know we can make the next step

    • Mikey K

      The system is great. Karl needs to go because I don’t see any fire or passion anymore. He looks comatose on the bench. There were times last season I wanted to see him yell, get T’d up or even tossed just to light a fire under the team and he sat on his hands.

      The system needs a fix. There are times when the game DOES need to slow to a half-court defense-heavy system even outside the playoffs. Every team needs to be able to do it. If anything, a new coach could do this. You need to play big; develop your post players. Maybe you won’t be as good as Indy is, but you need SOMETHING.

  • steve

    I hope he is gone. I’d love Brian Shaw to come in here.

    • Mikey K

      That was the top name on my list. He is MORE than ready and can’t believe he isn’t already a coach somewhere…