Over the weekend, there was some speculation that Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone could be hiring Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Popeye Jones. As it turns out, the rumors are true. According to a team official, Jones intends to join the Nuggets' coaching staff after spending one season with the Sixers.
Jones, who is no stranger to the Nuggets' organization, had a playing stint with the team back in 1999 and 2000. Now, the 51-year-old assistant coach is looking to re-join the organization for an increased role on Malone's coaching staff.
The longtime assistant began his coaching career roughly six years after retiring from playing. He spent a few seasons with the Nets in New Jersey and Brooklyn. Then in 2013, Jones moved on to coach with the Indiana Pacers, where he stayed for a while.
From 2013 to 2020, Jones remained on the Pacers' coaching staff. Following the firing of Nate McMillan in Indiana, Jones decided to move on and join Doc Rivers in Philadelphia with the Sixers.
Although Rivers had high regard for Jones and all of his assistants, the soon-to-be Nuggets assistant took a bit of a backseat to popular names such as Dave Joerger, Sam Cassell, and Dan Burke while coaching with the Sixers.
In Denver, that won't be the case. As the Nuggets' staff took on some losses this offseason, that opened up a prime opportunity for Jones to move up higher in the ranks with Denver. According to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, Jones will be “back on the front of the bench with Michael Malone’s staff.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.