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Interim coach Melvin Hunt remains a strong candidate for the Denver job, along with Michael Malone and Mike D’Antoni, league sources said.
While Vanterpool isn’t considered a frontrunner to replace Brian Shaw, Denver general manager Tim Connelly’s discussion with Vanterpool in recent days is reflective of the respect Vanterpool’s earned in three seasons as an NBA assistant coach.
Vanterpool interviewed for the Philadelphia 76ers’ head coaching job in 2013.
Vanterpool has developed a strong reputation for his work with All-Star guard Damian Lillard and 2013 first-round pick C.J. McCollum. Vanterpool has grown into a significant part of Portland coach Terry Stotts’ tactical preparation in their three successful seasons together.
Vanterpool, 42, will be an assistant coach on the Canadian National Team under Jay Triano this summer. Vanterpool and Triano work together on the Blazers’ staff.
After finishing his playing career with CSKA Moscow under legendary Euro coach Ettore Messina in 2007, Vanterpool spent three seasons as an assistant coach with him in Russia. Vanterpool was an undrafted free agent out of St. Bonaventure in 1995 who reached the NBA briefly with Washington in the 2000-01 season and had a successful career in the Continental Basketball Association, China, Russia and Italy.
The Oklahoma City Thunder hired Vanterpool as director of player personnel in 2010, a role that had him on the front-office fast track until his desire to coach led him to the Blazers in 2012.
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