David Akinyooye

Thunder Notes: Coaching Staff, Burton, Gray

The Thunder officially announced Mark Daigneault‘s coaching staff today, confirming in a press release that Mike Wilks, Dave Bliss, and David Akinyooye will return to the team as assistants, while Zach Peterson and Kameron Woods will be back as player development coaches.

The team also confirmed that former Knicks interim coach Mike Miller has been hired as an assistant, as reported earlier today. However, otherwise the group looks similar to last year — which makes sense, considering Daigneault himself was a Thunder assistant in 2019/20 before receiving a promotion this fall.

“This group has proven to be great collaborators during their time with the Thunder, complementing their ability to help develop our team and players,” Daigneault said. “They all share a deep commitment and understanding for the values of the organization and are dedicated to being continuous learners. Iā€™m looking forward to welcoming Mike to the Thunder and our coaching staff as we work to maximize our team and program.”

Here’s more on the Thunder:

  • Although he had his team option turned down last week by the team, free agent wing Deonte Burton remains on the Thunder’s radar, says Ian Begley of SNY.tv. According to Begley, scouts who watched Burton last season were impressed by his defense and athleticism, and believe he has some upside. He’s drawing interest from other teams besides Oklahoma City, Begley adds.
  • A source tells John Hollinger of The Athletic that Josh Gray – who was signed-and-traded from the Pelicans to the Thunder in the Steven Adams deal – was just days away from agreeing to sign with a Turkish team for a “tiny fraction” of the $1.62MM he got as a result of the sign-and-trade. It’s not clear whether or not Gray is in OKC’s plans for 2020/21, but he’ll get paid either way — his first-year salary had to be guaranteed as part of the transaction to make salary-matching work.
  • In case you missed it last night, the Thunder generated another huge trade exception (worth $19.5MM) by getting involved in the Hawks’ Danilo Gallinari signing to turn it into a sign-and-trade.