Scott Brooks Fired: Top Candidates To Coach Oklahoma City Thunder
Who Becomes New Coach In OKC?
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Scott Brooks has been fired by the Oklahoma City Thunder after racking up 338 victories in seven seasons and reaching the playoffs five times.
Let’s take a look at some of the possible names who could replace Brooks in OKC.
USA TODAY Sports
Tom Thibodeau - The Thunder shouldn't make a move until they’re 100 percent sure that Tom Thibodeau isn’t leaving the Chicago Bulls. There’s been word floating around that Thibodeau’s time is up in Chicago simply due to rubbing his players the wrong way and running guys into the ground with insane minutes. Like it or not, Thibodeau is one of the top coaches in the league and a brilliant defensive mind who could get better results out of this Thunder roster. Thibodeau in OKC would be a slam dunk hire and would make the Thunder a true championship contender heading into next season.
Mike D'Antoni - Can I throw a wild card out there? Fine. I think Mike D'Antoni would be a solid fit with the Thunder. While everyone remembers him bombing with a horrible Lakers team, I remember D'Antoni lighting up the league in Phoenix when he had an elite point guard. Guess what? That magic could happen again with Westbrook on the court. D'Antoni’s teams may not be great defensively, but he’s one of the top offensive coaches the game has seen and could get the most out of Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka. The Thunder relied on a lot of isolation and hero ball under Brooks. D'Antoni could possibly turn the Thunder into the Warriors 2.0, and I’m not sure folks in Oklahoma would mind that.
Mark Jackson - Mark Jackson got the raw end of a deal with the Golden State Warriors but could find himself in a great situation in OKC. Jackson was the first guy who turned around the Warriors, as he racked up 121 wins in three seasons, which included back-to-back playoff appearances. Jackson is the ultimate players coach who would give Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook their needed freedom without micromanaging. Jackson isn’t a great X’s and O’s coach, but he’s an incredible motivator and could likely get the Thunder to that next level.
Billy Donovan - Billy Donovan has done pretty much everything there’s to do at the college level, which includes winning two national championships with the Florida Gators. Donovan has shown he’s interested in the NBA, as he was expected to be the Orlando Magic coach a few years ago before backing out at the last second. Donovan also has a relationship with Thunder general manager Sam Presti. Donovan is a coach who is going to hold his players accountable and is solid in preparing his team on a nightly basis. Donovan would be the first guy I’d call if considering hiring a current college coach.
Kevin Ollie - I highly doubt Kevin Ollie would leave UConn this early simply because the Huskies are a program built on loyalty. Ollie was given the torch from Jim Calhoun, and I doubt he would want to let him down. However, Ollie was a well traveled NBA veteran who also played a year with the Thunder and has a great relationship with Durant. It’s certainly not out of the question that Ollie leaves to test the waters in the NBA.