The third-place finisher in this season’s Coach of the Year voting is without a job.
The Thunder won’t be offering an extension to head coach Billy Donovan, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday night. “The reality of Oklahoma City's eventual transition toward a rebuild made it a challenge for the two sides to find a way to continue forward together,” according to Wojnarowski.
Donovan is expected to be a candidate for the Sixers job, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that Donovan’s name has “been floating around this month” in connection with the Sixers’ vacancy, and that “the first order of business for Philadelphia is to get its front office situation sorted out.”
The Bulls are “expected to have an interest in considering Donovan," as well, per Wojnarowski.
The Sixers fired Brett Brown after being swept by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. General manager Elton Brand said the team would be doing away with its collaborative front office approach and evaluating potential changes, including the addition of more “basketball minds.”
Mike D’Antoni is another veteran head coach whose contract will be expiring at season’s end. The Rockets are currently taking on the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs.
Donovan coached Oklahoma City for five seasons, leading the Thunder to a 243-157 regular-season record. His team exceeded expectations this year after the departures of Paul George and Russell Westbrook, performing well in close games and going 44-28 before falling in seven games to Houston in the first round. Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer and Donovan were named co-Coaches of the Year by the National Basketball Coaches Association. Donovan’s credentials clearly make him worthy of consideration for the Sixers.
Before being hired by the Thunder, Donovan was in the college ranks, where he won national titles with Florida in 2006 and 2007. Al Horford started on both of those teams.