It only seemed like a matter of time before Florida head coach Billy Donovan took over as head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Wednesday night it became all but official:
Going online now: ESPN sources say Thunder & Billy Donovan nearing agreement to make him next OKC coach, with announcement likely THU or FRI
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 30, 2015
Thursday morning, terms of a deal were reached:
Billy Donovan is signing a five-year contract with the Thunder, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) April 30, 2015
Donovan immediately became a top candidate for the Thunder job after Scott Brooks was last week. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has a relationship with Donovan and is a big fan of his approach to the game as a head coach.
Donovan will be walking into a pressure cooker in Oklahoma City next season. There’s a ton of talent in place as long as the team is healthy, but the heat will be on to win big right away with Kevin Durant heading into free agency in 2016 and Russell Westbrook following the year after. Durant and Westbrook haven’t really been in the loop when it comes to this coaching hire:
Throughout Donovan process, Presti hasn't conferred with his top players – Durant, Westbrook or Ibaka — nor their agents. He's flying solo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) April 29, 2015
Needless to say, it’s going to be an interesting year in Oklahoma City.