Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly lining up UConn coach Kevin Ollie as a replacement for current coach Scott Brooks ahead of next season.
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OKC missed out on the playoffs this year after finishing in ninth spot in the Western Conference, with the New Orleans Pelicans taking the eighth and final playoff berth on a head-to-head tiebreaker.
While the Thunder were without Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka for significant periods of time, Brooks was unable to avoid coming under scrutiny again as questions were asked of his ability to take this team to a championship.
Speculation continues to suggest that the franchise will evaluate his position over the summer with the view of making a change ahead of next season, although Brooks has maintained his confidence in keeping his job for the final year of his contract.
That may be about to change as reports in the media claim that Ollie is being “seriously considered” by the front office to become his successor this summer.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie is being "seriously considered" for the OKC coaching job, source close to the situation tells @SNYtv
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 20, 2015
It is reported that Ollie’s appointment would be a strategic move to keep Durant at the franchise with free agency looming for the reigning league MVP in 2016.
The pair previously played together in Oklahoma City in the 2009/10 season, but after leading UConn to an NCAA Championship a year ago, he failed to guide the Huskies back at all this time round.
Many are claiming that it is a ploy to get Durant to stay, but if that is true then it is a risky move giving a rookie coach the keys to a team that is expected to compete for a championship next year.
Further, it would be unfair on Brooks to an extent considering that aside from his over-reliance on Russell Westbrook and Durant, he has constantly had to deal with huge injury blows at critical times of the season over the course of his tenure.