Northwest Notes: Donovan, Matthews, Durant

New Thunder coach Billy Donovan indicated that he had no second thoughts about making the jump to the NBA this time, unlike his previous flirtation with the Magic back in 2007, Royce Young of writes. “I think the Orlando situation really had nothing to do with Orlando,” Donovan said. “It had a lot more to do with me and I think where I was at, at that time in my life. We were coming off two national championships and I didn’t feel like my job was completed there. I felt like I had more to do. This time around, when Sam [Presti] called and said he wanted to meet and talk, I knew it was going to have to take something very, very special.

Here’s what else is happening around the Northwest Division:

  • Donovan also understands that his new job with the Thunder comes with a level of pressure and expectations that he didn’t have to deal with coaching at the NCAA level, Young notes. “I think any time you walk into the unknown, there’s going to be a level of uncertainty — I don’t think there’s any question about that. I’m OK with that,” Donovan said. “I’m excited for the challenge, I’m excited to bring value.
  • Unrestricted free agent Wesley Matthews says that his ideal outcome would be to re-sign with the Trail Blazers this summer, Sean Meagher of The Oregonian writes. The swingman also acknowledged that he has the ideal setting for him in Portland as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered this season. “So much stuff can happen between now and when free agency starts,” Matthews said. “Ideally, perfect situation, yeah. Who doesn’t want to go for the perfect situation?
  • One of Donovan’s most important jobs as coach of the Thunder will be to build rapport with Kevin Durant, who can depart as an unrestricted free agent after the 2015/16 campaign, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman notes. The new coach addressed his star’s pending free agency, saying, “Whatever decision that he [Durant] has to make, I feel very, very strongly about the organization, about [GM] Sam Presti, about Mr. [Clay] Bennett and the [franchise’s] commitment. I think a lot of those things probably line up with Kevin and how he feels. So I feel very, very confident in the organization and I think the organization and Kevin – from an outsider because I’m just coming in right now – are a great match.

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