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Five head coaches the Thunder should pursue for the post-Billy Donovan era

SMG Logo By Logan Newman of SMG | Slide 1 of 5: Since 1994, Mo Cheeks has been spent 15 seasons as an assistant coach and nine as a head coach. Currently an assistant coach with the Thunder — a position he has held for nine of the last 11 seasons — a promotion to head coach would be fitting. Cheeks was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2001-2005, then began with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2005 and lasted until midway through the 2008-09 season. Cheeks would be relieved of his coaching duties by the Sixers before Scott Brooks' coaching staff as an assistant in August 2009, and he signed on with the Thunder. Four years later, he would be hired as head coach by the Detroit Pistons, but after a 50-game stint that saw the team stumble to a 21-29 record, he was fired after only 50 games. He was then brought back by Presti in 2015, this time working under Billy Donovan. As a head coach, Cheeks reached the playoffs three times. He won 49 games in his first year and 50 in his second, but the crowning achievement may have been 2008. That year, the first full post-Allen Iverson season in Philadelphia, the Sixers were led by 24-year-old Andre Iguodala and had just one regular rotation player older than 30. Still, they managed to make the playoffs. Cheeks has gotten some buzz to return to the 76ers, including from Charles Barkley, a former teammate. The Thunder may try to convince him to stick around.

Maurice Cheeks

Since 1994, Mo Cheeks has been spent 15 seasons as an assistant coach and nine as a head coach. Currently an assistant coach with the Thunder — a position he has held for nine of the last 11 seasons — a promotion to head coach would be fitting. Cheeks was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2001-2005, then began with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2005 and lasted until midway through the 2008-09 season. Cheeks would be relieved of his coaching duties by the Sixers before Scott Brooks' coaching staff as an assistant in August 2009, and he signed on with the Thunder. Four years later, he would be hired as head coach by the Detroit Pistons, but after a 50-game stint that saw the team stumble to a 21-29 record, he was fired after only 50 games. He was then brought back by Presti in 2015, this time working under Billy Donovan. As a head coach, Cheeks reached the playoffs three times. He won 49 games in his first year and 50 in his second, but the crowning achievement may have been 2008. That year, the first full post-Allen Iverson season in Philadelphia, the Sixers were led by 24-year-old Andre Iguodala and had just one regular rotation player older than 30. Still, they managed to make the playoffs. Cheeks has gotten some buzz to return to the 76ers, including from Charles Barkley, a former teammate. The Thunder may try to convince him to stick around.
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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