OKC Thunder Hire Billy Donovan as Head Coach

UPDATE: It is now official.


Well, that escalated quickly.

Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan will reportedly soon become the new bench boss in OKC.

Yahoo! Sports and ESPN report that a deal for Donovan to take over head coaching duties for the Thunder is being finalized this week:

The expectations for Donovan are immediate and massive: He must help convince Kevin Durant to sign a long-term extension with the Thunder, and push an immensely talented roster toward its first championship. […] Durant , the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player, can become a free agent in the summer of 2016.


Thunder general manager Sam Presti has long targeted Donovan to replace the deposed Scott Brooks, and was the only candidate he pursued, sources said. Durant reached out to multiple former University of Florida players in the NBA to gain insight into Donovan, league sources said, and became generally positive about the hiring.


Donovan turned down offers to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves a year ago. He agreed to become the Orlando Magic’s head coach in 2007, only to change his mind and return to Florida after signing a contract and holding a news conference. The NBA did not allow him to be considered for head-coaching jobs until the term of that five-year agreement ended.