Darko Rajakovic Rumors
The Thunder are expected to retain Mark Bryant, Darko Rajakovic and Adam Harrington off former coach Scott Brooks’ staff. ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman has reported that Anthony Grant will follow Donovan from Florida to be an assistant with the Thunder.
Donovan will keep Oklahoma City assistant Mark Bryant and Darko Rajakovic on staff, and make former Alabama coach Anthony Grant his No. 3 assistant coach, league sources said. Another member of Donovan’s Florida staff, Billy Schmidt, could join Oklahoma City in a player development role, sources said. Donovan spent 19 seasons at the University of Florida, but has a strong network of NBA coaching relationships that are helping to construct his staff. Thunder management is playing a part in the process too.
Rajakovic coached 11 Tulsa players over the past two years who were on an NBA roster in the 2013-14 season. “Darko’s diverse basketball background, knowledge of the game and ability to develop players at a high level were clearly apparent during his time in Tulsa, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add him to our staff,” Brooks said. “His understanding of core tenets of what we do, thanks to his time in Tulsa, will maintain a level of consistency that we value, and his various head coaching experiences internationally will provide another layer to our coaches.”
Rajakovic, 33, is the first European to be hired as a head coach for an NBDL or NBA franchise. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has had a long relationship with Rajakovic, including a working partnership that began when Presti was an assistant GM with the San Antonio Spurs. Presti targeted Rajakovic for the Thunder’s minor-league position out of a strong belief in Rajakovic’s ability to develop the franchise’s young players who’ll spend time there, sources said.
In an innovative and historic hiring, the Oklahoma City Thunder have reached agreement with Serbian Darko Rajakovic to coach the franchise’s Development League affiliate in Tulsa, sources told Yahoo! Sports. Rajakovic’s hiring with the Tulsa 66ers is still pending his completion of the immigration process, sources said.