One of the coaches proved he can win without a superstar, but clashed with management about who should get playing time. Sound familiar?

The other candidate has glowing credentials for a first-time head coach but had already been interviewed for a head coaching position nine times without being hired, entering the offseason.

Such are some of the quandaries, and questions being asked, at the Pepsi Center, as the Nuggets look at Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw as coaching candidates to replace George Karl. The Los Angeles Clippers also are interested in Hollins and Shaw.

Hollins, 59, was forced out in Memphis despite taking the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals. The 47-year-old Shaw, an Indiana Pacers assistant, took his interview number to double digits this summer after meeting with the Clippers and Brooklyn Nets. The Nuggets have yet to lock in an interview with either candidate, as the team closely monitors the coaching carousel that's spinning from L.A. to Denver to Memphis to Brooklyn.

One tidbit in Denver's favor is that Brooklyn hired Jason Kidd as its next coach. Multiple national media outlets reported Wednesday night that Kidd would sign a three-year contract. That takes one team off the board in the battle for a new head coach.

So what makes Hollins and Shaw the two hot candidates? Hollins, after all, was the coach who clashed with management about playing certain players this season after the Grizzlies traded the team's top scorer, Rudy Gay. On the plus side, Hollins molded a tough-minded defensive team that made it to the conference finals.