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The Denver Nuggets are in the midst of a major shake-up, after dumping both of the team’s top personnel executives on the same day. The Denver Post reports that either Rex Chapman or Mark Warkentien were likely to get dumped this summer, but not both. The team’s decision has apparently shocked everyone—from rival teams to coach George Karl.
“I had certainly been planning on returning,” Chapman says. “But I think that the franchise right now is at a point where they have the situation going on with Carmelo [Anthony], and they’re going to focus their energy on bringing in maybe some new blood to the process, and I don’t blame them for that.”
Warkentien doesn’t comment to the Post, but his agent says he was surprised.
The moves prove the team is doing everything possible to retain the services of Anthony, one of the marquee players in the NBA. But the situation isn’t looking good on that front. Yahoo! Sports writes that Anthony isn’t expected to sign the three-year, $65 million contract extension the Nuggets placed at his feet, opting instead to become a free agent next summer.
AOL Fanhouse thinks Anthony is the obvious driving factor in the layoffs, so finding the right replacements will be crucial. Some names being floated are former Nuggets executive Tommy Sheppard, Toronto Raptors assistant general manager Masai Ujiri, and David Griffin, formerly of the Phoenix Suns’ front office.