Thunder GM ‘anticipates’ return of coach Donovan

Thunder GM ‘anticipates’ return of coach Donovan

FILE PHOTO: Apr 21, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers in game four of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti said Monday that Billy Donovan will return for a fifth season as coach of the Thunder in 2019-20.

“We anticipate Billy being back,” Presti said during a press conference. “I wouldn’t expect anything to change. There’s nobody that works harder than him.”

The Thunder have compiled a 199-129 (.607) record in the regular season under Donovan, but are just 4-12 in the last three postseasons.

A 4-1 series loss to the Portland Trail Blazers this year marked Oklahoma City’s third straight first-round exit since Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors in free agency in 2016.

The Thunder picked up the fifth-year option on Donovan’s contract in November.

Oklahoma City was 49-33 this season, finishing sixth in the Western Conference standings.

“Our job isn’t just to sit here and react to things. It’s to be methodical and understand how we can get better, what’s the plan for that,” Presti said. “Last year, the team wasn’t good enough defensively and we put our heads together and became better.

“The margins of error are small. We’re not entitled to anything. We don’t come into the year expecting to be automatically served up. But you’ve also got to perform when you get there.”

—Field Level Media

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