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Report: Billy Donovan Will Not Return To The Thunder Next Season After His Contract Expired

The Oklahoma City Thunder, off the heels of a season in which they were perhaps the biggest surprise in the league, will be on the lookout for a new head coach this offseason. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the team and head coach Billy Donovan will part ways after the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension. Donovan’s deal ran out at the conclusion of this season.

As Wojnarowski noted, it does not seem like this was a rash decision, as both sides understood the situation. The Thunder, which ostensibly has a rebuild on the horizon due to Danilo Gallinari’s contract ending and Chris Paul being mentioned as a potential trade candidate from essentially the moment he joined the franchise last offseason, do not appear to match up with what Donovan wants in a team right now.

Donovan joined the Thunder prior to the 2015-16 season. While he had flirted with a move to the NBA in the past, he took his time before deciding to leave the University of Florida, where he had a decorated coaching career and won a pair of national titles. In five years at the helm in Oklahoma City, Donovan accrued a 243-157 record and made the postseason each year. However, outside of his first year with the team, he never advanced past the first round.

This season, Oklahoma City went 44-28 and nearly beat the Houston Rockets in the first round of the postseason before falling in seven games. While Donovan is out, it should be an appealing job, as the team boasts a building block in the backcourt in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a treasure trove of future draft picks.

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