The Thunder are going to take a long look at potentially replacing Scott Brooks this summer, for a variety of reasons.
It isn’t only that Oklahoma City missed the playoffs this year, because that’s more due to injuries than it is the fault of Brooks. But his Xs and Os on the offensive end of the floor have long been criticized, and with the Thunder having just one more season before Kevin Durant can leave as an unrestricted free agent, it’s critical they do everything possible to make an immediate run at a title.
The latest candidate rumored to be linked to the still-filled head coaching position is Kevin Ollie, who is now coaching at the University of Connecticut, but has a relationship with the Thunder organization after playing there during his final NBA season in 2010.
Ollie, however, seems to have taken his name out of the running for any potential opportunities.
“As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities,” Ollie’s statement read. “We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can be on the court, in the classroom, and in our community.”
Sam Presti and the Thunder front office have yet to comment on the future of Brooks. Though Brooks was publicly backed by his star players recently, a Yahoo report right after the season said OKC was taking its time to reassess the coaching position before deciding which direction to move.
Presti is scheduled to have a press conference on Friday morning where he’s likely to discuss the situation.
It’s unlikely we’ll get much clarity on the situation during that press conference. As long as Brooks still holds the position, his general manager isn’t going to openly discuss the possibility that he’s searching for a replacement.
But it’s a reality that the Thunder organization has to do everything in its power to make sure next season isn’t Durant’s last in Oklahoma City — and that includes looking high and low for an upgrade at head coach.