The Denver Nuggets announced today that the contracts of front office executives Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman will not be extended for the 2010-11 NBA season.
Warkentien’s title was Vice President of Basketball Operations whereas Champman’s role was as Vice President of Player Personnel. They were the top-ranked front office members involved with basketball.
"Mark and Rex have played important roles in our success over the past several seasons," KSE Executive Vice President Paul Andrews said in a statement. "However, after meeting with both individually in recent weeks, we decided it would be best for all parties to go their separate ways. We appreciate everything that each has done for the organization and wish them nothing but the very best in the future.
"We are in the process of evaluating and restructuring the Nuggets front office and have begun a search for possible replacements as we prepare for the upcoming season."
Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and the Wizards Tommy Sheppard are expected to be top candidates to replace the duo according to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears.
SB Nation recently ranked all 30 NBA general managers with Warkentien landing within the top five.
Warkentien got dealt a really tough hand because the previous GM, Kiki Vandeweghe, threw around money way too frivolously for an owner who doesn’t have incredibly deep pockets. Somehow, he’s managed to build a contender despite that, finding great free-agent bargains and making shrewd moves to stay in contention while also trimming some salary. The Allen Iverson move is his only blemish, but he corrected that with the Chauncey Billups trade.
The Nuggets are probably in even more of a tight spot now than ever, and Warkentien’s own future with the club is murky. But keep in mind that Warkentien inherited a lot of the cap hell the Nuggets currently have. To make the team better under those circumstances is very impressive.
It will be interesting to hear if anything else comes out of this because Warkentien was revered as a great general manager around the NBA.