Thunder, Billy Donovan part ways as coach’s contract expires


The Oklahoma City Thunder and Billy Donovan will not be working out an extension after the head coach’s contract expired following their exit from the playoffs last week. The sides have mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced Tuesday night.

Donovan took over for now-Wizards head coach Scott Brooks in 2015 after the Thunder missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. Oklahoma City made the postseason during each of Donovan’s five years with the team, even with the departures of key stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

Perhaps most surprising was this season, when the Thunder subtracted Westbrook and George over the offseason while adding Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. OKC went 44-28 and secured the fifth seed in the Western Conference but bowed out in the first round after losing to the Houston Rockets in seven games.

Donovan, who coached numerous NBA stars including Wizards guard Bradley Beal during his 19 years as head coach of the Florida Gators, is set to be a free agent coach once the NBA Finals are completed.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Chicago Bulls are expected to have interest in Donovan after recently completing a first round of interviews with several candidates.