After locking in three members of his new coaching staff, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan is pursuing an ambitious list of ex-NBA head coaches and assistant coaches for the two most prominent roles on his bench, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Donovan has a targeted interest in several potential candidates, including ex-New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams, Chicago Bulls assistant Andy Greer and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, league sources said.
Another possibility could be the return of New York Knicks assistant Brian Keefe, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Keefe left ex-Thunder coach Scott Brooks’ Thunder staff to join Derek Fisher in New York a year ago. Keefe is well-regarded among Thunder management and players. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are among the players partial to Keefe.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown passed on a chance to discuss joining Donovan’s staff, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Brown will be an assistant coach for Mark Few on USA Basketball’s entry in the Pan-Am Games in July.
Donovan will keep Oklahoma City assistant Mark Bryant and Darko Rajakovic on staff, and make former Alabama coach Anthony Grant his No. 3 assistant coach, league sources said.
Another member of Donovan’s Florida staff, Billy Schmidt, could join Oklahoma City in a player development role, sources said. Donovan spent 19 seasons at the University of Florida, but has a strong network of NBA coaching relationships that are helping to construct his staff. Thunder management is playing a part in the process too.