OKLAHOMA CITY — Sam Presti revealed today at his exit interview that he “anticipates” Billy Donovan will return as the head coach next season.
Last December the Oklahoma City Thunder picked up the final year on Donovan’s option for 2019-20. Next year will mark the fifth and final year of the deal he signed in 2015.
“I’ll sit down with Billy. I’ll sit down, let him get away, let him get some thoughts together before we sit down and meet, Presti said. “We’ll come back, we’ll sort it out like we always do, we’ll create a plan, try to find a path forward, and we’ll get to work.”
Donovan said on Thursday that he and Presti had had a chance to talk on the plane ride following the Thunder’s elimination in Portland on Tuesday.
Yeah, for me it’s just kind of like business as usual.” Donovan said. “Sam and I had a chance to visit a little bit on the plane yesterday on the way back, just talking about the next couple days and getting together. So I’m sure he and I will get a chance to set down as some of this stuff slows down and talk in detail and look forward to that.”
Donovan is the fourth winningest coach with the same team since he has joined the league. The Thunder reached the Western Conference Finals in 2016 before losing in Game 7 to the Golden State Warriors. Oklahoma City has since been bounced in three consecutive first rounds. OKC has won four playoff games since 2016 and have yet to win a road playoff game in that time.
“I wouldn’t expect anything to change.” Presti added. “As I said, that might be the one thing you did miss is I said nothing changes. I haven’t had the chance to sit down with him. I do think getting his perspective on things is important because there’s nobody that works harder than him. If anything, I think he needs to take some time to think through the season himself and have a really good conversation.”