"Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie would be a candidate for the Thunder's coaching job if it opens, league sources told Yahoo Sports," reporter Adrian Wojnarowski wrote.
"Ollie was a teammate with [Kevin] Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and he's an individual whom [GM Sam] Presti holds in high esteem."
If the Thunder are going to make a move, Ollie's name coming to the surface is no surprise. Ollie had a chance to stay with the Thunder in their organization when he retired and joined JIm Calhoun's coaching staff. thunder GM Sam Presti is a fan and Kevin Durant has spoken glowingly about Ollie in the past and credits him with helping build a winning culture in Oklahoma City (SNYUConn, Feb. 17 2014 ).
Considering the Thunder have to extend Durant in the next two years, would it not be prudent to make him happy?
That said, there are hurdles. First off, the job isn't open yet, and until that happens it's all speculation from the outside. Ollie's only in his third year as a head coach, has one national title, and seems comfortable in Storrs.
He signed a renegotiated contract last May after rumors surfaced that he was offered an NBA job and other teams contacted him. Ollie gets paid nearly $3 million annually. His total package is worth about $16 million with UConn on a 5-year deal.
Ollie's current buyout is $5 million until May 31, 2015. Then, the buyout would be $4 million for an NBA or a college job. F or college jobs, on June of the contract year years (June 1 2015-June 1 2019), the buyout drops by $1 million each year until it is a $1 million buyout in June 1, 2019.
There is an NBA difference in the buyout.
Starting June 1, 2016, Ollie has an out in his contract for the NBA only that allows him to leave for $1 million. If he waits until June 1 next year for an NBA job, the buyout is only $1 million for the duration of the contract.
Steve Kerr, with no coaching experience, signed a 5-year $25 million deal last year with the Warriors. Derek Fisher, also has a 5-year 25-million contract.
Ollie must inform athletic director Warde Manuel by written notice, per his contract, if he or his agent is seeking employment as a head coach elsewhere.