Billy Donovan new Thunder coach
Billy Donovan and his many sideline facial expressions are headed to Oklahoma City, as the now ex-Florida head coach has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Thunder, according to sources. This will be the second time that Donovan has accepted an NBA coaching position, but marks the first time that he will actually coach a game for his new team. He previously had accepted the head coaching job for the Orlando Magic in 2007, but backed out of the deal and stayed at the University of Florida.
There is no doubt in my mind that Billy Donovan is a great coach, but I have reservations about how his coaching style will translate into victories in the NBA. Things could be worse though, and the quick hiring of Donovan gives the Thunder time to build on his success at the collegiate level and see if they can make a splash in free agency. It also allows time for Billy Donovan to get to know his new players before the NBA Draft, specifically Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Billy Donovan has succeeded when his team has solid guard play, and that was evident while he was at Florida. He is headed to a Thunder team that has an excellent point guard, along with other great players, and it seems like Donovan should be able to lead this team to the playoffs in his first season. In the 19 years that he was the head coach at Florida, he was able to win two national championships, coached in four Final Fours, and was repeatedly in the Elite Eight with his beloved Gators.
His record at Florida speaks for itself, but I think that the up-tempo style that he tends to lean towards will greatly benefit a Oklahoma City Thunder team that is loaded with fast and talented athletes. If they can stay healthy and shore up their defense, I think Billy Donovan will make his presence felt in the NBA.
What did you think about the firing of Scott Brooks? Is Billy Donovan the best fit for OKC? Leave your comments in the section below.
Dustin Brown covers the Oklahoma City Thunder for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.