It was announced earlier today that Chip Engelland has joined the Thunder after spending 17 years working with the San Antonio Spurs. The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
ESPN Sources: The Oklahoma City Thunder are hiring Chip Engelland as an assistant coach. Engelland, considered the NBA's preeminent shooting coach, spent 17 years with the Spurs where he's considered to have had an immense impact on Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, among others.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 27, 2022
Engelland hit the market and was one of the most coveted assistant coaches on the market. His body of work when it comes to shooting is unparalleled and there were many teams interested in acquiring him. It is quite a coup to land Chip and have him work on the roster.
Engelland is widely known as the coach who refined Tony Parker’s jumper and elevated the ceiling of the Spurs’ core in the 2000s. Parker came to San Antonio as a non-shooter and Engelland worked tirelessly to fix Tony’s shooting mechanics. Between him and Parker, they established a new method for Parker to grip the ball and have greater control when shooting.
Tony Parker is the most notable name on his resume but Engelland’s work as a shooting coach goes back three decades. He first started working with NBA clients in 1994 when Engelland helped Steve Kerr’s shot base become more consistent.
In more recent years, Engelland has been pivotal in rebuilding Dejounte Murray’s jumper and helping Keldon Johnson become comfortable as a high-volume, high efficiency outside shooter.
His role on the Thunder should be wide-ranging and there will be plenty of players who could use developmental time with the ‘Shot Doctor’. Oklahoma City were ranked last in the league last season when it came to 3-point efficiency. The team has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to this facet of the game and Engelland can assist the Thunder in achieving their potential.
Josh Giddey’s greatest weakness is his lack of a reliable jumper. Giddey shot just 26.1% from outside last season and did not do significantly better on long twos. However, it is pretty clear that Giddey has touch and control over the basketball. Giddey’s floater is effortless and is one of the reasons why he is so good within five feet of the basket.
The floater makes Giddey more unpredictable and harder for the defense to scout out of the game. A consistent jumper will only enhance the variety in his game and open up even more passing options. Time with Chip should allow his jumper to materialise and for Giddey to reach his true potential.
This is a great hire by the Thunder and it should hopefully pay dividends for the long-term future of the franchise.