Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks has been slammed by the public for his seemingly simplistic play design and rudimentary offensive scheme, and along with injuries, some believe that Brooks is one of the main reasons as to why OKC has yet to make a return to the NBA Finals after falling to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2012 Finals.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Thunder’s front-office apparently shares that sentiment, and they will not commit to bringing Brooks back for the final year of his contract until their evaluation period of Brooks is complete.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to spend time evaluating the partnership with coach Scott Brooks before committing to bring him back for the final year on his contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti has to decide an organizational direction for the final year of Durant’s contract, and that will include a decision about whether Brooks is ultimately the coach most capable of delivering a healthy Thunder roster to a championship. Brooks is well liked within the organization and has forged close relationships with management and players in his seven years as head coach.
Wojnarowski also shed light on who could possibly replace Brooks if he was to be axed, and the candidate may surprise you.
If a change comes, University of Florida coach Billy Donovan could emerge as a serious candidate to coach Oklahoma City, league sources said. Presti has a longstanding friendship with Donovan, a two-time national championship coach who has been open about his interest in moving to the NBA.
After making the postseason for six consecutive seasons, OKC was eliminated from playoff contention on the final night of the regular season as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the San Antonio Spurs to clinch the Western Conference’s 8th seed.
In Brooks’ defense, it’s extremely important to note that the Thunder have been ravished by injury not only this season, but at some of the most paramount moments of their campaign in previous years.
Superstar Kevin Durant, who was coming off the heels of an MVP season, only played 27 games this season due to a Jones Fracture and complications stemming from the ailment. Last year, the Thunder made the Conference Finals against the eventual NBA champion Spurs, but were without defensive anchor Serge Ibaka for the first two games of the series. The year before that, Russell Westbrook was put on the shelf for the entire postseason after tearing his meniscus in the first round against the Houston Rockets.
Wojnarowski also added that if Brooks was indeed to be relieved of his coaching duties, the Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets would both be interested in his services.
Scott Brooks has gone 338-207 in his seven seasons as Oklahoma City’s head coach. He won Coach of the Year in 2010.