Mike Brown has been released as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team announced Monday.
Could Brown help the Thunder? No, not as a replacement for Scott Brooks, but as a defensive assistant.
Brown was hired as head coach on April 24th, 2013. It was the second time Brown had been head coach of the Cavaliers, as he was at the helm from 2005-2010, making an NBA Finals appearance with LeBron James in 2007. Brown was also the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2009.
Known as a defensive specialist, Brown was an assistant on the San Antonio Spurs' NBA Championship team in 2003. He shares a common link with Thunder general manager Sam Presti, who was an executive on the Spurs staff in 2003.
Brown has consistently had strong defensive teams in his stints as an assistant and head coach. Even his worst seasons haven't been terrible. His worst team defensive rating as a head coach was with the Cavaliers this season (19th out of 30 teams). In five seasons in Cleveland in his first stint (with James, mind you), his team's average defensive rating was fifth in the NBA.
The Presti-Brown background along with the defensive ups and downs of the Thunder this season have to make you wonder if OKC would take a look at Brown as an assistant.