Sources: Kevin Ollie starts contract talks with UConn but hasn't ruled out NBA
University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie has started discussions on a new contract with school officials, but hasn't ruled out listening to NBA overtures, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Fresh off his masterful national championship coaching run this spring, Ollie is a consideration for the Los Angeles Lakers and is expected to move onto short lists as more NBA teams make coaching changes, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
So far, no NBA teams have reached out to make formal contact with Ollie, sources said.
Across the NBA, executives are enamored with Ollie as a tactician and leadership force. UConn officials are moving quickly to rework his contract and reward him for so quickly developing into an elite head coach.
Ollie, 41, was raised in Los Angeles and attended Crenshaw High School before leaving for a college career at UConn. Ollie is an intensely loyal man and prying him away from his alma mater won't be an easy task. Nevertheless, he played in the NBA for 13 years, finishing his career in Oklahoma City where he earned immense respect from superstar Kevin Durant and general manager Sam Presti. Ollie will be willing to listen to NBA suitors, sources told Yahoo Sports.
As perhaps a future free-agent recruiter for Durant in Los Angeles – or perhaps ultimately someday as the Thunder's coach to help persuade Durant to re-sign – Ollie could have numerous pro options available to him. Ollie will lose two players to the NBA draft from his national title team and could be headed toward a transitional period with the Huskies. For the near future, it's possible he won't be a more wanted pro commodity than now.
After winning 20 games in his first season as coach at UConn in 2012-13 – and burdened with a postseason ban for failures under his predecessor, Jim Calhoun – UConn made a march to a national title victory over Kentucky.
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