The Serbian Basketball Federation is in advanced talks to hire Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone as a top aide and consultant during its Olympic qualifying tournament this summer, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Malone would work alongside Serbia head coach - and Sacramento Kings assistant - Igor Kokoskov.
The 48-year-old Malone could prove to be an invaluable addition for Serbia, which needs to win the tournament on home soil this summer in order to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Malone has overseen Serbian star Nikola Jokic throughout all five seasons of the big man's NBA career and has helped the Nuggets center develop into a nightly triple-double threat.
Serbia's six-team tournament will be held in Belgrade from June 23-28. The hosts will face the Dominican Republic and New Zealand in Group A, while Puerto Rico, Italy, and Senegal will compete in Group B. The top two teams in each group will then square off to determine which country will qualify for the Olympics. Similar tournaments will also be held in Victoria, British Columbia, Split, Croatia, and Kaunas, Lithuania.