You should not be surprised by this.
ESPN reports that the Oklahoma City Thunder are “closing in” on a new deal with head coach Scott Brooks:
Sources told ESPN.com on Friday night that Brooks and the Thunder, after slow-moving talks that had left the sides well apart by the end of the NBA Finals earlier this month, soon will finalize a new four-year deal to follow up the contract that expires Saturday.
Although the financial specifics were not yet known, ESPN.com reported last week that the Thunder’s most recent offer was “north of $4 million” annually.
“They are getting close,” one source briefed on the discussions said.
So, no, Phil Jackson will not be enjoying the Sooner State’s sights and sounds any time soon.
The Thunder were not going to let the coach that lead them to the Finals get away, no matter their resistance to overpaying for him. Brooks comes with questions, that can’t be denied. Tactically, there are issues, but at the same time, Brooks has overseen the development of two All-Stars, the Sixth Man of the Year, and the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up. It’s just too absurd to think that they would allow him to walk away.
In the end, the Thunder will wind up caving on both the number of years and the amount per year. That was always going to happen. This isn’t new stuff. Coaches, particularly, younger ones, have a hard time getting the mega-deals. But OKC wasn’t going to go in another direction, wasn’t going to risk upsetting the good thing they have going.
Brooks will be back in OKC, and the process will continue. And so will people questioning whether he’s the guy to get it done.