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DENVER Nuggets begin search for GM

Updated:
DENVER (AP) _ Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke has met with the first of a half-dozen candidates for a new general manager.

Kroenke interviewed former Nugget Kiki Vandeweghe in Denver on Monday morning. Vandeweghe, 42, is director of player development for the Dallas Mavericks, and is considered a candidate for several positions with the Nuggets, including general manager and player personnel director.

``We have a few different things we're talking to him about,'' Kroenke said.

He said he plans to meet with as many as six candidates for the position.

Among them are Billy McKinney, Seattle's executive vice president of basketball operations, who was unable to make a Monday interview with Kroenke; and Mark Warkentien, Portland's assistant general manager, Kroenke said.

``I want to meet with every candidate,'' he said. ``I know what I want to see as far as who is best for the direction we need to go.''

Also Monday, team coach and president Dan Issel worked the phones for players on the first business day of the NBA's free-agent open market. Teams can begin signing players July 18. Some of the first players Denver inquired about were point guard Avery Johnson, forward Samaki Walker and forward Eddie Robinson.
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