Scott Brooks and OKC Thunder ‘Far Apart’ on New Contract

by June 29, 2012

The deadline for Thunder head coach Scott Brook’s contract expiration is Sunday, and according to published reports, the two sides aren’t close to reaching a new deal as of yet (and the interested parties remain mum on the progress of negotiations.) Per “Brooks steered the Thunder to the Finals for the first time since the franchise moved from Seattle four years ago, leading the team from a 3-29 start when he took over for P.J. Carlesimo in 2009. His Thunder posted consecutive 50-win seasons before going 47-19 this season and defeating the defending champion Mavericks, Lakers and Spurs to win the Western Conference title. He has become extremely close to the team’s franchise players, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who embraced Brooks’s coaching style. And the Thunder want Brooks to return. But the talks, as ever, have stumbled on money. Sources confirmed a report that Oklahoma City is now offering Brooks a four-year deal, after staying at three years during the last several months of negotiations, and a league source said that Oklahoma City is now willing to discuss a deal that would get Brooks in the $4 million per year range. Brooks believes that his performance in developing the Thunder’s rotation the last three years warrants a deal that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. A source with knowledge of the negotiations said that the Thunder’s current offer would not get Brooks into the top 10 of the league’s top-paid coaches, based on this past season’s coaching salaries. Brooks made $2.1 million this past season, well below what the league’s best-paid coaches made; by comparison, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, whose Heat team defeated Brooks and the Thunder in the Finals, made more than $3 million this past season.”