Mavericks add Melvin Hunt to staff

Former Denver Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt has agreed to join Rick Carlisle's coaching staff in Dallas.

Hunt, who had also been courted strongly by the New Orleans Pelicans, on Friday struck a deal with Dallas to become Carlisle's top aide. Hunt became available when the Nuggets chose to hire Mike Malone as their new full-time head coach.

Confirming an earlier ESPN.com report, Carlisle said Friday night: "Melvin Hunt joins our staff as lead assistant. Monte Mathis, who has been part of the Mavericks' organization for 10 years, is exploring other NBA coaching opportunities and has the option to become head coach of the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League."

The Legends have been coached for the past three seasons by former NBA veteran forward and Mexico native Eduardo Najera‎. Najera is receiving interest from other NBA teams for an assistant coaching spot, but Mavericks president of basketball operations and Legends co-owner Donnie Nelson said Friday that Najera has been promised an opportunity to join Dallas' NBA scouting staff to launch his front-office career.

"We consider Eddie a Maverick lifer," Nelson said.

As for Mathis, Nelson said, "This could be a great opportunity to start his head-coaching career. We hope he stays with us."

‎Hunt took over as the Nuggets' interim coach in early March after Brian Shaw's dismissal and coached Denver to a 10-13 record over its final 23 games, which prompted the likes of Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried to publicly campaign for him to keep the job full time.