Billy Donovan rejected Thunder’s two-year offer to remain OKC head coach before NBA restart

In some shocking news from the NBA, Billy Donovan will not return to the Oklahoma City Thunder next season Team announced on Tuesday night. Donovan’s contract as coach of the Thunder expired after the 2019-20 season, and although initial reports suggested it was a mutual decision by both sides, Oklahoma City gave Donovan a two-year guarantee before the start Made a new deal with. In the NBA restart, according to Shams Charania of Athletic, but he turned it down.

The Thunder kept Donovan away from the University of Florida in 2015 after moving on from Scott Brooks. They were moved to within a game of the 2016 NBA Finals, but after Kevin Durant left that summer, the team was forced to take a step back. They are back in contention with the acquisition of Paul George, but after trading this offseason between him and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder are destined for a rebuild.

That rebuild did not come immediately, however, as Donovan took a team of spare parts, Oklahoma City gave it to him and led the Thunder to the Thunder as the surprise No. 5 seed. He pushed the Rockets to seven rounds in the first round despite sending his former MVP, Houston, during the offseason. Donovan finished third for Coach of the Year for his efforts.

But Chris Paul, the centerpiece of his incredible season, is 35 years old and on a maximum contract that does not fit Oklahoma City’s long-term plans. He would be a valuable trade piece, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a possible axle in the team’s rebuilding was a factor in Donovan’s exit. The split was extremely cordial, and now, Donovan will be a candidate for other open jobs around the NBA. The Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans have all just inaugurated, and although the Rockets have expressed a desire to retain Mike D’Antoni, it should be noted that their deal ends even after the season has gone. He could also return to college sports where he made a name for himself.

Donovan, who resisted overrides from NBA teams for years after reconsidering the Orlando Magic coach’s agreement, joined the Thunder in hopes of becoming a contender’s coach. He did this when it was expected and when it was not. But now he and the team are seen going in different directions. The Thunder now have a very desirable opening, and Donovan will become one of the most skilled coaches on the market.