The Oklahoma City Thunder have reportedly reached an agreement with Billy Donovan for him to become their new head coach ahead of next season.
Donovan had been strongly linked with the post all week as speculation continued to suggest that he was ready to leave the Florida Gators and college basketball behind to join the NBA.
The two-time NCAA champion is expected to be formally announced as the new OKC coach in the coming days, and it will ultimately bring an end to the franchise’s search for a successor to Scott Brooks.
Brooks was fired at the end of the regular season last year after failing to guide the Thunder to the playoffs, but it is understood that the decision was reached on a grander scale given that he was unable to deliver a title to the organisation in seven years in charge.
While they did come close on occasion, injuries certainly conspired against him over the last two years as he lost key players at crucial times of the season.
However, it appears as though it will Donovan’s turn to try and lead this team to a championship, and his first port of call will be to prove this year that both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook should stay with them long-term.
Durant becomes a free agent next summer while Westbrook will enter the market in 2017, and with reports suggesting that neither were consulted during the hiring process, it remains to be seen how they take to Donovan and his coaching methods.
According to Yahoo Sports, Donovan will sign a five-year deal with the Thunder and will be expected to bring success and stability to the organisation much like he did in Florida after spending 19 years with the Gators.
The experienced coach has been linked with various coaching positions in the league previously and was briefly in charge of the Orlando Magic, but it appears as though he has landed the job that he was looking for and will be officially unveiled to the media as early as this week.
Oklahoma City has hired Billy Donovan as coach, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 30, 2015