In an innovative and historic hiring, the Oklahoma City Thunder have reached agreement with Serbian Darko Rajakovic to coach the franchise’s Development League affiliate in Tulsa, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Rajakovic’s hiring with the Tulsa 66ers is still pending his completion of the immigration process, sources said.
Rajakovic, 33, is the first European to be hired as a head coach for an NBDL or NBA franchise. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has had a long relationship with Rajakovic, including a working partnership that began when Presti was an assistant GM with the San Antonio Spurs. Presti targeted Rajakovic for the Thunder’s minor-league position out of a strong belief in Rajakovic’s ability to develop the franchise’s young players who’ll spend time there, sources said.
Rajakovic has spent his last three seasons as the head coach of Torrelondes in Spain. Presti also helped bring Rajakovic in as a scout and consultant in 2004 with the Spurs.
Rajakovic replaces Dale Osbourne who left the 66ers to take an assistant coaching job with the Portland Trail Blazers. Previous to that, Nate Tibbetts left the post to take an assistant position with the Cleveland Cavaliers.