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#pounditThursday, February 9, 2023

Thunder reportedly hire Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan

The Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly set to announce the hiring of Billy Donovan as their next head coach.

News 9 in Oklahoma reports that a deal has been finalized and should be made public in the very near future.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Donovan signed a five-year contract with the team.

The Thunder job was Donovan’s to lose all along, especially after UConn coach Kevin Ollie removed his name from consideration. It quickly became obvious that something unexpected would have to happen in order for Donovan to not be named OKC’s next coach.

Donovan has been the head coach of the Florida Gators since 1996. He won back-to-back championships with the school in 2006 and 2007. He has no coaching experience at the NBA level.

Kevin Durant reportedly called some of Donovan’s former players earlier this week and developed a “generally positive” attitude toward the hiring. That likely made the Thunder’s decision even easier, as Durant is set to become a free agent at the end of next season. If OKC wants to keep its franchise player from returning to a place like his hometown to play, he’ll need to get along with the head coach.

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