The Thunder struck first in landing a new head coach this offseason with the announcement that Florida’s Billy Donovan would now be roaming the sideline for OKC, replacing the recently fired Scott Brooks. This was after Kevin Ollie, the franchise’s reported top choice, elected to remain at UConn. Donovan’s contract is reportedly for five-years and worth approximately $30MM, or roughly $6MM per season. The final year of the deal is a team option.
“It’s been a complete whirlwind for me the last four or five days,” Donovan said. “I am extremely thankful the way [OKC GM Sam Presti] laid out the organization to me over about a two-and-a-half-day period because, to be honest with you, I really did not know a lot about the Oklahoma City Thunder. I knew of Sam, I obviously knew of the players and organization, but I didn’t know what it was about. And it was that — that really made me turn my head when I started to find out more, that I think the qualities, the values, what this organization is about is directly in line and mirrors what I believe.” The Nuggets and Magic are currently the only other teams that are in the market for a new coach.
Here’s a look back at the rest of the week that was:
2015 NBA Draft News
- Isaiah Taylor will skip the NBA draft and return to the University of Texas.
- The Sixers are reportedly hoping to land Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell in June’s draft.
- Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor signed with agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management. Duffy also signed on to represent Kansas freshman Kelly Oubre.
- Bulgarian forward Aleksandar Vezenkov, also known as Sasha Vezenkov, announced his intent to enter the 2015 NBA draft. A second report stated that Vezenkov intends to withdraw his name from consideration.
- Senior shooting guard D’Angelo Harrison signed with agent Bernie Lee of Lee Basketball Services.
- Latvian center Andzejs Pasecniks will enter this year’s draft.
- Andrey Desyatnikov has declared for the NBA draft.
- Lebanese point guard Wael Arakji is entering the June’s draft.
- Combo forward Beka Burjanadze submitted his name for the draft.
- Former LSU power forward Jordan Mickey has signed with agents Matt Babcock and Adie von Gontard of the APAA Sports Group.
- Rakeem Christmas decided on Stephen Pina of ASM Sports for his representation.
- Spanish shooting guard Marc Garcia submitted his name for the draft, his representatives at Octagon Basketball revealed.
- Projected second-rounder J.P. Tokoto signed with agent Steve McCaskill of Relativity Sports.
- Former Florida power forward Chris Walker hired agent Travis King of Relativity Sports.
- Oriol Pauli, another Octagon client from Spain, has also entered the draft.
- Lottery prospect Kevon Looney has hired both Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management and Todd Ramasar of Stealth Sports to represent him.
- You can see the complete list of early entrants for the 2015 NBA draft here.
- Raptors GM Masai Ujiri didn’t say whether coach Dwane Casey would be back next year, though he indicated that if he had decided against keeping him, he’d have already said so.
- The Kings are finalizing an agreement with Sixers assistant Chad Iske for him to become associate head coach under George Karl.
- Warriors GM Bob Myers won the NBA’s Executive of the Year award.
- Andrew Wiggins won this year’s Rookie of the Year award, receiving 110 of the 130 first-place votes.
- Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, reportedly doesn’t intend to pursue offer sheets from other teams.
- Soon-to-be free agent DeAndre Jordan has made it known that he has interest in signing with the Mavs this summer.
- The Pelicans reportedly plan to offer Anthony Davis a contract extension worth the league maximum this offseason.
- Kevin Love suffered a dislocated left shoulder that required surgery to repair. The Cavs’ forward is expected to be out of action for four to six months’ time.
- The Magic signed GM Rob Hennigan to an extension that carries through the 2017/18 season, and includes a team option for 2018/19.
- Mavs forward Al-Farouq Aminu said that he’ll turn down his minimum-salary player option with the Mavs for next season.
- Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard intends to seek a maximum contract extension from the team this offseason.
- Rookie Fuquan Edwin will join the Pelicans’ summer league team.
- The Celtics are reportedly willing enough to trade Gerald Wallace that to do so, they would part with one of the seven extra first-round picks in line to come their way.
- The prevailing belief around the league is that Brook Lopez will opt out but re-sign with the Nets on a max deal this summer.
- Blazers guard Arron Afflalo intends to turn down his $7.75MM player option for next season and become a free agent this summer.
- Small forward Chase Budinger has reportedly opted in and will remain with the Timberwolves for the 2015/16 season. The small forward has a player option worth $5MM for next season.
- The Celtics will reportedly make an attempt to trade for DeMarcus Cousins this summer.
- Stiff opposition has arisen against the Warriors‘ plan to construct a new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay area.
- Meanwhile, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said that he believes sides are nearing an agreement that would secure the public’s share of funding for a new Bucks arena in Milwaukee.
- Jazz draft-and-stash prospect Ante Tomic is reportedly signing a three-year extension with FC Barcelona, and will not be making the jump to the NBA next season.
- German center Tibor Pleiss could look to join the Jazz next season if his contract is bought out by Barcelona.
- The Celtics are among the teams with interest in soon-to-be free agent Al-Farouq Aminu.
- Brazilian point guard Marcelo Huertas, also known as Marcelinho Huertas, was reportedly eyeing a move to the NBA next season. But a second report which relayed Huertas’ love for playing in Barcelona, casts doubt on him playing in the U.S. in 2015/16.
- All of the week’s NBA D-League assignments and recalls can be found here.