Thunder notebook: Ron Adams leaving; Maurice Cheeks staying

By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: June 27, 2010

After weeks of speculation, the Oklahoma City Thunder's coaching staff will indeed be affected by the hiring of Tom Thibodeau as Chicago's newest head coach. Ron Adams, the man many have credited for being instrumental in building up the Thunder's defense, will join Thibodeau's staff with the Bulls.

Adams, who resides in Chicago, came to Oklahoma City from the Bulls midway through the 2008-09 season. It's unclear if Oklahoma City will replace Adams, who was the lead assistant to Scott Brooks. Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Brooks are expected to make a joint decision on a replacement over the next several weeks.

The Thunder will not, however, lose Maurice Cheeks to the Bulls as well. Cheeks, who arrived last summer, for awhile was rumored to be a candidate for both the head coaching job and a possibility for Thibodeau's staff. Thibodeau even mentioned Cheeks by name in his introductory press conference last week. But Cheeks will remain with the Thunder for the 2010-11 season.

Durant nominated for ESPY

Kevin Durant has been nominated for a ESPY Award, the annual honor presented by ESPN. Durant is one of five players nominated for the “Best NBA Player” category,' joining Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Durant won a 2007 ESPY for Best Male College Athlete. His 30.1-point average in 2009-10 led all players in scoring, making him the youngest player ever to win the scoring title.

The ESPYS will air live Wednesday, July 14 at 8 p.m.

Summer league roster taking shape

The Thunder is expected to release its roster this week for the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League in Orlando. But the spots are already filling up.

James Harden, Eric Maynor, Serge Ibaka, Byron Mullens, D.J. White, Kyle Weaver, Robert Vaden, DeVon Hardin and this year's second-round picks, Latavious Williams and Ryan Reid, are all expected to compete. It's unclear whether 31st overall selection Tibor Pleiss will play.

Cole Aldrich will not be available to compete throughout much of the week. Because the trade that will bring the No. 11 overall pick to OKC can't be finalized until July 8, Aldrich won't officially be a member of the Thunder.

The league runs from July 5-9.

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