NBA teams have been in touch with University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, who’s engaged in “firm” discussions and is nearing the interview stage with one club, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. That team isn’t the Lakers, who haven’t reached out, according to Charania, in spite of an earlier report that they plan to interview Ollie, among other candidates. Ollie acknowledged that he’ll listen to inquiries but insisted that he wants to continue to coach Connecticut and said he’s telling recruits that he’ll remain at the school, as Dom Amore of The Hartford Courant observes.
“I love this university,” Ollie said today. “I’m not looking for another job. Of course, you listen to different things — I got two ears so I’m going to listen — but I’m not going out there soliciting any other job. I want to be here at the University of Connecticut.”
The primary sticking point in talks on a new contract with UConn is the amount of his NBA escape clause, currently set at $2.55MM, Amore reports. Ollie made about $1.6MM including bonuses last season, according to Amore, but there’s reportedly a decent chance that the Huskies will double his salary on a new contract.
Ollie has no interviews with any NBA team lined up for this week’s draft combine, Charania hears. Charania makes mention of the Cavs as “highly aggressive” in their pursuit of a coach, but it’s not clear whether they’re connected to Ollie. A recent report categorized him in the first tier of Warriors candidates, and the Thunder apparently would have interest if they were to fire Scott Brooks.