Thunder Offered Donovan Multiyear Deal Prior To Restart

The Thunder offered head coach Billy Donovan a multiyear contract extension prior to the NBA’s restart this summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The offer included two guaranteed seasons, Charania adds.

Donovan passed on that offer at the time and the two sides agreed to table discussions until the end of the season. On Tuesday, less than a week after Oklahoma City had been eliminated from the playoffs, word broke that Donovan and the team had mutually agreed to part ways rather than working out a new deal.

Charania’s report that the Thunder offered Donovan an extension doesn’t come as a major surprise — it always seemed as if the organization was interested in bringing back the head coach. But with a possible rebuild looming, the two sides weren’t necessarily aligned on a long-term fit. General manager Sam Presti said as much during his comments to the media following Donovan’s departure, as Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder details.

“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,” Presti said of Donovan.

Since parting ways with the Thunder, Donovan has been linked to head coaching openings in both Philadelphia and Chicago. However, we haven’t gotten a sense yet of how serious a candidate he is for those jobs, or whether he could emerge as an option for any of the other teams seeking a new coach.

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