Thunder Rumors: Will Hardy, Brian Keefe Candidates for Head Coaching Job

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2020

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, front left, and acting head coach Tim Duncan, behind her, signal to players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, as assistant coach Will Hardy stands by at right, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in San Antonio. Portland won 121-116. Duncan became acting head coach after Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected after being called for two technical fouls. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Darren Abate/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy and Oklahoma City Thunder assistant Brian Keefe are candidates for the Thunder's head-coaching vacancy, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

It's unclear if either Hardy or Keefe has an edge.

The Thunder have mostly kept their coaching search quiet since Billy Donovan announced in September he would not be returning. Donovan has since been hired by the Chicago Bulls.

Hardy is a well-respected assistant who has spent the last 10 seasons working his way up Gregg Popovich's bench, from video coordinator to NBA Summer League head coach to one of the lead assistants under arguably the greatest coach in NBA history.

Keefe is in his second tour as an assistant in Oklahoma City, having previously worked in the organization from 2007 to 2015 before leaving for stints with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. The former UNLV guard has developed a knack for working with young talent and was targeted as the defensive coordinator for the Lakers under Luke Walton.

The Thunder are expected to undergo a multiyear rebuild, so they're likely to target a coach with player development experience. Hardy and Keefe both fit the bill and might be more willing to take a coaching job with a challenging road ahead than more established names.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like