Head Coach Billy Donovan and OKC Thunder Opt to Mutually Part Ways
After being voted by his fellow peers as the co-coach of the year, Billy Donovan and the Oklahoma City Thunder have opted to part ways after five years.
Donovan, who’s contract was set to expire at year’s end, will leave the Thunder after five consecutive playoff appearances.
“We had planned to sit down at the end of the season and discuss the best way to move forward for both of us,” Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “After those discussions, it became apparent that we couldn’t provide him the information on the future direction of the team over the next several seasons to give him the level of clarity that he understandably desires at this stage of his career.
ESPN Sources: Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan won’t be returning to the Thunder next season. Donovan’s contract expired at season’s end and the sides have decided against pursuing an extension.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 9, 2020
“Therefore, we close this chapter and reflect fondly on all that he has given to the team, organization and community. Billy will always have a place in the Thunder family.”
It appears that the Thunder’s impending transition towards a rebuild forced both sides to consider the reality of the situation and Donovan appeared unwilling to start anew. The Chicago Bulls have already began showing interest in the newest coaching free agent on the market.
“This place will always be special to us. I will always hold this organization in the highest regard and wish the Thunder and their fans the success they deserve,” Donovan said in a statement.
Donovan boasted a 243-157 (.608) mark as the franchise’s head coach.