The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered a crushing defeat in the NBA Finals losing the series 4-1 Thursday night in Miami.
Head coach Scott Brooks and the Thunder were close but just didn’t have quite enough to get over the hump and beat the Heat.
Now that the season is over, some of the focus will shift to Brooks and his current contract situation. Right now, his contract will be up at the end of June. Brooks and the Thunder have been working on a deal but they have yet to come to an agreement yet.
The Thunder’s deep run into the playoffs has delayed our knowing of the outcome of this situation. We know that Brooks earlier had said no to a contract extension.
ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that Brooks would like four years guaranteed while the Thunder would prefer just two or three.
Brooks has been as much a part of this team’s growth as anyone. The players love him and he has been instrumental in the team’s progress over the years.
The Thunder organization certainly would prefer not to part ways with Brooks but the NBA is a business and as shocking as it may seem now, it could be a possibility.
Adding to the situation is the fact that Brooks was outcoached in the NBA Finals. There has been criticism of Brooks and his coaching in the past, mostly concerning the stagnant offensive sets OKC runs but that kind of went away this year.
Brooks’ woes resurfaced some in the NBA Finals. Many will give him a pass which is fair too but it is hard not to think that what seemed like an obvious lineup change could have put the Thunder in position to win the title this year.
After coming so close this season, there aren’t a whole lot of people that are thinking about changing this Thunder core, including their head coach.
There have been a few names rumored as potential targets for the Thunder if they are unable to reach an agreement with Brooks. Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are among the names but they are nothing more than rumors at this point.
In the upcoming week or so, we will continue to learn more about what is going with Brooks’ contract. Odds are, he will be with the Thunder next year but it wouldn’t be totally surprising if he’s not.