NBA rumors: Kelvin Sampson, Nate McMillan candidates with Bobcats, Pistons


The NBA coaching carousel continues its rotation this offseason.

Several NBA teams are searching for a new head coach, and former head coach Nate McMillan and Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson are two of the hottest candidates at the moment. The Detroit Pistons are courting both Sampson and McMillan, and the Charlotte Bobcats have joined the Milwaukee Bucks in targeting Sampson, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. Each of these rumors comes with layers of conflicting information.

Nate McMillan reportedly met with Pistons GM Joe Dumars for an informal discussion last week, and on Tuesday he sat down for an official interview with the franchise. The Bobcats have apparently been focused on Sampson, but Berger mentions in passing that Bobcats owner Michael Jordan will also "go after McMillan and perhaps CSKA Moscow assistant Quin Snyder." The Pistons have also interviewed Lindsey Hunter, and all of the latest rumors and analysis on Detroit's coaching search can be found in this StoryStream at Pistons blog Detroit Bad Boys.

Sampson has been mentioned as a candidate in Detroit by Marc Stein of ESPN and Berger of CBS Sports, but Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reported last week that Sampson "won't have a chance at the Pistons job." In the wake of recent reports, Ellis recently reaffirmed his stance and again stated that Sampson "doesn't appear to be part of the Pistons' plans." Alternative candidates mentioned by Ellis include Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Heat assistant David Fizdale.

Sampson served as an assistant coach for the Bucks under Scott Skiles for three seasons before joining the Rockets, and he developed a good relationship with Brandon Jennings during his time with the team. If general manager John Hammond wants to bring Jennings back, Sampson could be the best fit for the team. However, Stan Van Gundy is another coach that is at the top of Milwaukee's list. The Bobcats have already asked for permission to speak with Sampson.

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