Thunder GM Sam Presti Says Coach Billy Donovan Won't Return

Wednesday, September 9th 2020, 5:51 am
By: Caleb Califano

The Oklahoma City Thunder is looking for its next head coach after announcing Billy Donovan will not return next season.

After five years, and five playoff appearances, Thunder General Manager Sam Presti says the team couldn't give Donovan the clarity and information he wanted when it came to a future in Oklahoma City, especially at this stage in his career.

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Overall, Donovan led the Thunder to a 243 win and 157 loss record.

In a Zoom call Tuesday night, Presti discussed how he didn't want to mislead Donovan about plans for the next two or three years.

Presti says part of that uncertainty is due to COVID-19, and how it will impact salary cap and luxury tax in the NBA.

"The pandemic is a huge factor I think it will be for a lot of teams," Presti said. "We are waiting for that information, and when we get that information it will at least tell us what we would like to do. But it is truly something we will have to wait on."

In a statement, Donovan says in part:

"Coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder the past five seasons has been a great honor. I have a great respect and admiration for the players I coached in Oklahoma, and I also want to thank the coaches I worked with, who gave unbelievable time and expertise to our common goal."

Presti says as they search for a new coach they hope to hire someone with the same amount of "tenure" that Donovan had.

He hopes the next coach will stay with the team even longer.