The Oklahoma City Thunder has fired head coach Scott Brooks.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti traveled to meet Brooks near his California home on Wednesday and delivered the news, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Presti’s decision wasn’t a reflection of the job Brooks did this season, but ultimately a long view for the franchise, sources told Yahoo.
Oklahoma City missed the playoffs for the first time in six years this season, finishing 45-37 with superstar Kevin Durant lost for most of the year.
Florida coach Billy Donovan is expected to become a serious candidate to replace Brooks, sources told Yahoo.
Presti has a longstanding friendship with Donovan, a two-time national championship coach who has been open about his interest in moving to the NBA.
Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie could be a candidate for the Thunder’s coaching job, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Ollie was a teammate with Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and he’s an individual whom Presti holds in high esteem. But before Brooks’ firing, Ollie issued a statement through a UConn spokesman on Wednesday saying he had no “plans” to pursue other jobs.
Two years ago, Presti and Brooks’ representative had a difficult negotiation process on an eventual four-year contract extension, and several teams with openings, including Portland, were interested in hiring Brooks at the time. Brooks will immediately become a top candidate for the head-coaching openings in Orlando and Denver, league sources told Yahoo.
Brooks was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2010 and led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012. He went 338-207 in seven season as coach of the Thunder.