According to reputable sources, the OKC Thunder are considering San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy for their head coaching vacancy.
Only three things in this life are guaranteed: Death, taxes and San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches getting interviewed for head coaching vacancies during the offseason. That last one used to be occupied by Spurs playoff appearances, but you all know how that went his year.
Anyway, The Athletic’s Shams Charania released a handful of information in a recent piece that included tidbits about a good portion of NBA teams. While nothing released was specific to the San Antonio Spurs, he did mention that assistant coach Will Hardy is drawing some attention. According to the report, Hardy is amongst those being considered for the OKC Thunder coaching vacancy which became available in early-September when they amicably parted with Billy Donovan.
As Oklahoma City currently stands, there’s an infrastructure to go on another run in pursuit of a playoff bid and a potential second-round breakout. Led by future Hall of Famer Chris Paul, the Thunder have a unique blend of young talent and veteran leadership that made enough of an impact this season to take the Houston Rockets to seven games in the first round.
For Hardy, this would be an opportunity to establish a culture that’ll be followed for years to come. Under the guidance of OKC general manager Sam Presti, Hardy would learn the ropes of being a head coach while taking on a roster chock full of young talent. Beyond that, he’ll get to work with CP3, one of the greatest basketball minds in the history of the sport, and expand his repertoire as a leader for that franchise.
Gregg Popovich was ejected in the 3rd quarter of Blazers-Spurs.
Tim Duncan, Becky Hammon and Will Hardy are coaching the rest of the game. pic.twitter.com/uP29TVKu6O
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 17, 2019
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This would make for an excellent opportunity, should Hardy receive an offer. It’d be surprising If he decided against taking it in that scenario, opening yet another vacancy on the San Antonio Spurs’ bench. San Antonio would likely fill that spot with Mitch Johnson, who filled Tim Duncan’s vacancy during the 2020 Orlando restart.
Johnson has spent years in the Spurs organization stemming from the Austin Spurs and working his way up the ladder. Considering he was the next man up in Orlando, it’d make for an easy transition in which Johnson would elevate in his own professional development while continuing to help this young Spurs team find its footing in the heated Western Conference.
Losing Hardy certainly wouldn’t make things easier for the silver and black, but it won’t be their downfall either. Ultimately, losing an assistant coach isn’t going to make or break this team’s season considering they still have the greatest coach of all-time leading the way. If he were to retire this offseason, it’d be a different story, but this possible move shouldn’t make too much of an impact on the team’s outlook moving forward.
We’ll let you know as soon as there are new developments in Hardy’s pursuit of a leading gig.