Why Lionel Hollins Would Be the Perfect Fit With the Denver Nuggets

Jake LapinCorrespondent IJune 11, 2013

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 27:  Head coach Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts in the first half while taking on the San Antonio Spurs during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the FedExForum on May 27, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Lionel Hollins is out as Memphis Grizzlies' head coach. According to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports, Hollins and management did not get along, which is why his contract was not renewed.

This season, the Grizzlies had a franchise best 56-26 record and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. Even after a strong season in Memphis, it seems that Hollins will be on the sideline for a different team next year. He is definitely a hot commodity, especially with a handful of vacancies around the league.

Hollins is a defensive-minded coach, which is evident when looking at the Grizzlies' incredible defensive stats from last season. With that in mind, Denver would be a great place for Hollins to take over.

The Nuggets have similar pieces in place that the Grizzlies had, which Hollins implemented so successfully. Many of the position players could fill the same roles as those who played for Hollins in Memphis.

Hollins developed Mike Conley into a star at the point guard position. Conley had his best season and playoffs yet and was the facilitator of the offense. Ty Lawson could be used similarly if Hollins were to coach Denver. He is a quick guard who can create plays on offense and also play defense.

At shooting guard, if Andre Iguodala were to re-sign, Hollins would be set. Iguodala is one of the best perimeter defenders in the game, like Tony Allen was in Memphis. However, Iggy is a much better scorer than Allen, and would be an improvement for Hollins.

Danilo Gallinari would also be an improvement for Hollins. Gallo can be an elite scorer, especially when his three-ball is falling. In Memphis, Hollins started Tayshaun Prince at small forward, who isn't much of a scorer. But before Prince was acquired in a trade, Hollins had Rudy Gay as the starting small forward. Gay is also a terrific scorer, but Gallo is a more efficient shooter.

In Memphis, Hollins had two explosive big men with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Randolph has been bullying opposing teams in the paint for years, and Gasol was named Defensive Player of the Year after this past season. Denver can compare with two athletic big men of their own. Kenneth Faried is one of the up-and-coming players in this league. Also, at the center position, JaVale McGee is one of the most athletic seven-footers the NBA has ever seen. Both of these guys would suffice in Hollins' schemes.

It seems as if Denver and Memphis could end up trading coaches. George Karl to Memphis and Hollins to Denver would be good moves for both teams, because the teams have many similarities. 

Hollins is definitely under the radar for the Nuggets. If they hire him, they could make big strides in the Western Conference next year.