More Rumors in this Storyline
Joe Mussatto: Thunder officially announces Mark Daigneault as its new head coach. pic.twitter.com/DPTVhx5IH9
Royce Young: Daigneault is a great example of the Thunder’s wholistic developmental mindset, too. Presti met him scouting Bradley Beal when Daigneault was 26 and a grad assist. at Florida, hired him at 29 to coach the OKC Blue, then promoted him to a Thunder assistant a couple years ago.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Oklahoma City Thunder are promoting assistant Mark Daigneault to become the franchise’s next head coach, sources tell ESPN.
Presti has been enthusiastic over Daigneault’s proven track record in the Thunder organization, sources said, including connecting with players, teaching the game and making the kind of short- and longer-term adjustments that are crucial for a franchise that is transitioning out of playoff contention and toward a younger, developmental roster. In his time as a G-League coach, he was 143-107 with four playoff appearances and eight players called up to NBA rosters, including four players signed to two-way deals, in the past season.
Salman Ali: Chris Paul is the same age as his head coach.
Sydney Kings head coach Will Weaver is currently in quarantine in Oklahoma City as he continues to emerge as a candidate for the Thunder’s vacant head coach position, sources have told ESPN.
The Sydney Kings confirmed on Friday that Weaver was granted permission to travel to the United States to pursue NBA opportunities. “Will has kept us informed in an ongoing basis in regards to the recent discussions he has been involved in,” Kings chairman and owner Paul Smith said.
Darvin Ham: Ham has a diverse résumé of NBA experiences. He’s won a title as a player on the 2004 Detroit Pistons. He coached the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of what was then the D-League. He’s been an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he has been one of Mike Budenholzer’s top assistants in Atlanta and Milwaukee for seven seasons. He recently interviewed with the Clippers and Pacers for their head coaching vacancies. “He’s almost overqualified,” an Eastern Conference scout said of Ham interviewing for the job. “He has presence, he’s sharp, and he’s played for good coaches.”
Charles Lee: Lee, 35, is considered one of the top young assistants in the NBA. He’s worked six years with Budenholzer in Atlanta and Milwaukee and took on more responsibility with the Bucks when Taylor Jenkins left for the Memphis head coaching job in 2019. Lee has played an integral part in the Bucks’ opponent scouting and player development. He works closely with Khris Middleton, who has earned consecutive All-Star selections. “He’s talented and has a very good presence about him,” an Eastern Conference scout told The Athletic about Lee. “He can relate to all walks of life and different backgrounds of people.”
The last of the league’s nine coaching vacancies is in Oklahoma City. Will Hardy, an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, Charles Lee from the Milwaukee Bucks’ staff and Mark Daigneault, an assistant coach with the Thunder, are among the candidates who have received strong consideration for the post. Other outlets have mentioned the Thunder assistant coach Brian Keefe and the former Nets assistant Will
Brian Windhorst: The Thunder are beginning to look at a rebuild, which is one of the reasons why Billy Donovan did not stay. So with the expectation this could be a first-time head coach. Some of the names that I’ve heard: David Vanterpool, who is an assistant with the Timberwolves. Adrian Griffin, who’s been a candidate for jobs over the years, recently with Toronto. And watch out for a sleeper candidate: Will Hardy, assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, a lot of people are very high on him.
Brandon Rahbar: My two big takeaways from Presti’s media call: 1. Without knowing when the season will start or what the salary cap looks like, Presti will wait before making any coach or roster decisions. 2. He likes Donovan. But with OKC’s future in the air, change was best for both sides.
Oklahoma City Thunder have picked up the option on coach Billy Donovan’s contract for the 2019-20 season, the final year on his original five-year deal, a league source told ESPN.
Thunder Executive VP and GM Sam Presti has worked closely with Donovan, whom he hired out of Florida three years ago, and considered the guaranteeing of the contract largely a formality. It is possible that a strong playoff performance could move the organization to pursue a contract extension with Donovan, but his contract is now guaranteed through next season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Oklahoma City Thunder has picked up option on Coach Billy Donovan’s contract for the 2019-20 season, the fifth year on his original deal, league source tells ESPN. Donovan is the fourth winningest coach with same team over his four years, behind Kerr, Popovich and Stevens.
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
May 8, 2021 | 4:25 am EDT Update
J. Michael: Just talked with a 4th league source on this w/direct knowledge: This is the first time TJ Warren has been featured as a main option on a team, will be paid like it, likes the smaller market and the plans for him regardless of the coach. He doesn’t want to go anywhere
During an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Countdown ahead of the Bulls hosting the Boston Celtics, Wojnarowski suggested Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans and Dennis Schroder of the Los Angeles Lakers as two potential targets. “Point guard is going to be at a premium for them,” Wojarnowski said.
Dane Moore: Karl-Anthony Towns was asked postgame about his exchange with Jimmy Butler, and Anthony Edwards stepped in to take the answer “Man, they grown men, dog. They just be talkin, havin a regular conversation, if you ask me… It’s no competition if we not talkin shit to each other.” pic.twitter.com/gDEP0hjbVZ
Chris Hine: Ant refuted my question earlier when I said the Wolves were getting a little emotional in the 3rd Q. @JaceFrederick followed up with “Who was getting emotional then, Ant?” Ant: “The zebras.”