OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The Oklahoma City Thunder have reportedly picked up the 5th year option on head coach Billy Donovan’s contract through the 2019-20 season. This is all according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by The Oklahoman‘s Erik Horne.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has picked up option on Coach Billy Donovan's contract for the 2019-20 season, the fifth year on his original deal, league source tells ESPN. Donovan is the fourth winningest coach with same team over his four years, behind Kerr, Popovich and Stevens.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 17, 2018
Donovan is in year four of his contract and has been the coach for the Thunder since the 2015-16 season. Three postseason appearances, a Western Conference Finals appearance and a .613 winning percentage in the regular season has helped him become one of the more successful coaches in the NBA during his career.
This is all despite the fact that Donovan has had to deal with roster turnover every offseason since he arrived.
“That’s one of the things that I think has been a real challenge for Billy,” Sam Presti said on September 20th during an introductory press conference. “The team has changed quite a bit and he’s had to adapt and adjust and now I think there’s a little more recognition coming into the year albeit, we’re going to have some injuries, but I’m sure.”
With an offseason that saw the return of Paul George to the franchise for the foreseeable future, Donovan has helped lead the Thunder to an 18-10 record this season. Oklahoma City is currently the third seed in the Western Conference.
The consistency and stability has also helped Donovan instill a system of defense. The Thunder are currently the best team according to defensive rating in the NBA at 102.1 and fifth in the league in net rating at 5.5.
“I’m excited for Billy because one of Billy’s strengths is being creative, improvising,” Presti added on September 20th. “I just think that there’s a lot of interchangeable pieces to the team that he can sort out.”
This was not surprising due to the respect Donovan has from the organization as well as front offices across the league. It is a big show of confidence moving forward for Donovan from the Thunder front office as he enters his final year of his deal next year.
The Thunder host the Chicago Bulls tonight in Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.