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Thunder GM Sam Presti: We ‘anticipate’ Billy Donovan returning as coach

Oklahoma City Thunder v Detroit Pistons

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 03: Head coach Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on while playing the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on December 03, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Oklahoma City won the game 110-83. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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The Thunder have won 47, 48 and 49 games last three years.

They’ve also lost in the first round each season.

That has sparked questions about Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan.

Erik Horne of The Oklahoman:

That’s odd phrasing. Donovan could technically leave on his own, but it really seems to be Sam Presti’s call. Is Presti leaving the door open for other options? Or is he intent on keeping Donovan but just nodding to the unknowableness of the future?

The Thunder already exercised Donovan’s option for next season, which could be a make-or-break year for the coach.

He has done a pretty good job, though Oklahoma City’s inability to adapt defensively to counter Damian Lillard in the playoffs was disappointing. Overall, Donovan has built a successful team despite a roster way short on shooting. Donovan’s Thunder have played sound defense and scored reasonably well considering the lack of spacing.

A team with Russell Westbrook and Paul George has a high floor. The best argument for dumping Donovan: The Thunder are capped out and unlikely to improve their roster. Changing coaches and increasing variance could be the best way to reach a higher ceiling.

But Donovan has long been Presti’s guy, and it seems it’ll stay that way.