The Oklahoma City Thunder fired head coach Scott Brooks on Wednesday. The questions that immediately come to mind are regarding Brooks' replacement. As Kevin Durant approaches free agency, this is an extremely important hire. Here are some of the candidates to replace Brooks.
Ollie seems like the leading candidate for the job early on. He led the UConn Huskies to a national championship in 2014 and played for the Thunder during their inaugural season in OKC. The players would love him. One player that might be a little more excited about the hire of Ollie? Jeremy Lamb. Lamb played under Ollie when both were at UConn. The Thunder actually traded for Lamb under Ollie's recommendation.
As the Sacramento Kings coach early this year, Malone had the Kings in the playoff hunt (no easy feat). The Kings were playing inspired basketball and really good defense as they raced out to a 9-5 record. Malone was relieved of his duties as the Kings hit a slump when Demarcus Cousins went down with meningitis. Malone is a good coach that seems to get along with players - two important qualities for a potential Thunder coach.
The current Iowa State coach has been rumored to be the next Chicago Bulls head man if Tom Thibodeau is fired. Hoilberg has led a traditionally-not-great basketball school to a couple fantastic seasons the last few years at Iowa State. As Hoilberg is a young coach, I could picture him being the next Brad Stevens if he did jump to the NBA.
The current Bulls coach has been rumored to have been on the hot seat for several months now. He has reportedly clashed with front office over players minutes, but the players like him. If Thibs is let go, he will be high on OKC's list of candidates due to the fact that he gets the most out of every player (Even if they play 53 minutes).
Sam Presti and Billy Donovan reportedly have a great relationship. Oklahoma City Blue head coach Mark Daigneault was hired from the Florida coaching staff. They also spent a lot of time together in 2012 when Presti was scouting Bradley Beal. The question with Donovan is the doubts that he can be a good professional coach.