The Serbian basketball federation is closing in on hiring Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone to become a top aide and consultant to head coach Igor Kokoskov, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.

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The appeal for the Serbian basketball federation isn't just Malone's coaching ability and basketball insight but also the fact that he's Nikola Jokic's head coach in the NBA with the Nuggets. Having Mike Malone in the program would likely help incentivize Jokic to play in the 2020 Olympic Qualifier after the 2019-20 NBA season.

Malone has a 200-167 win-loss record in five seasons as the Nuggets head coach so far, putting his percentage at 54.5 percent. It is way better than his 36.8 percent with the Sacramento Kings in two seasons.

The 49-year-old coach has also led the Nuggets to a 7-7 record in 14 playoff games, though they are yet to make the Conference Finals under his tutelage. They lost in the second round of the 2019 playoffs to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The coaching staff for the Serbian basketball federation has already received a recent boost. They hired Kokoskov to be their head coach, which was a move Jokic viewed favorably when asked about it over the summer.

“I'm glad about Igor,” Jokic said, via “He's certainly someone who can introduce something new to the national team, some new system, new people. We'll see. Personally, I say again, I never say if I play or not before [a tournament] so I won't now. I focus on the season and on my games. The Olympics and the Qualifiers are far and I really don't think about them.”

Jokic got off to a slow start this season, but that didn't last. He is currently averaging an impressive 19.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists through 39 performances. His production hasn't been quite as strong as it was during his First-Team All-NBA season in 2018-19, but he has still been very impactful for the Nuggets.