1:58pm: Ollie has “significant interest” in the Thunder job in spite of his statement today, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com earlier expressed doubt about the idea that the statement put the kibosh on the idea that Ollie would coach the Thunder next season (Twitter link).
9:23am: A source told Zagoria on Tuesday night that Ollie was the Thunder’s top coaching target and that the Thunder were “fully committed” to their attempt to convince him to jump, regardless of the cost of his buyout from UConn. It’s unclear where the Thunder stand with Ollie in the wake of his statement this morning, but Zagoria’s source on Tuesday described Ollie as “torn.” The source also told Zagoria that the Thunder pursued Ollie last year, and that he turned them down then.
WEDNESDAY, 8:48am: Ollie will remain at UConn and has no plans to work elsewhere, the coach said in a statement today, according to The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater (on Twitter).
MONDAY, 2:27pm: The Thunder are seriously considering University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie as a successor for Scott Brooks, a source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Ollie, who’s close to Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti and also has strong ties to former teammate Kevin Durant, recommitted to the Huskies with a new deal last year that would require him to pay the school $4MM if he were to leave for the NBA.
People close to Brooks have their doubts about his job security, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported last week. The Thunder are expected to “spend time evaluating the partnership” between Brooks and the franchise before deciding whether to bring him back next season, though he’s under contract for 2015/16 with a team option for 2016/17, Wojnarowski wrote.
Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka have nonetheless all expressed support for Brooks in recent days, though the three were teammates of Ollie, who spent his final season playing in the NBA with the Thunder in 2009/10. Ollie guided Connecticut to the national championship in 2014 and was a hot commodity shortly thereafter. The Cavs were reportedly the most aggressive NBA team in pursuit, while some thought that a team might hire Ollie to try to lure Durant, who’s set for free agency in 2016. Ollie was reportedly seeking a contract worth more than $25MM over five years to make the jump to the NBA. His deal with Connecticut is a five-year, $15MM pact.