Thunder Hiring Chip Engelland As Assistant Coach

The Thunder are hiring longtime Spurs assistant coach Chip Engelland as an assistant on Mark Daigneault‘s staff, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Engelland has spent the last 17 years in San Antonio under Gregg Popovich after beginning his coaching career as a shooting consultant with the Pistons (1999-2000) and a player development coach with the Nuggets (2003-05).

As Wojnarowski writes, Engelland is widely viewed as the NBA’s top shooting coach and is thought to have had a significant impact on players like Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard during his time with the Spurs. He has a preexisting relationship with Thunder head of basketball operations Sam Presti, who previously worked in San Antonio’s front office.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweeted earlier this month that Engelland was leaving the Spurs “at the conclusion of his contract” — while Fischer’s report didn’t make it clear, it sounds as if Engelland’s contract expired this offseason, clearing a path for him to accept a new position in Oklahoma City.

The Spurs and Engelland, who has long been one of the NBA’s highest-paid assistants, couldn’t agree to terms on a new deal, Wojnarowski explains.

In his new role, Engelland will have the opportunity to work with a promising young Thunder core that includes Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren, Luguentz Dort, Jalen Williams, and Ousmane Dieng, among others.

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