What The Thunder Parting Ways With Billy Donovan Means For The Future Of The Team
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced that they were parting ways with head coach Billy Donovan after five seasons and a 243-157 record. It was reported that this was a very amicable separation with both sides supposedly coming to an understanding. The Thunder are transitioning into a different stage with their star players Chris Paul and Steven Adams getting older and with their glut of draft picks from the Paul George and Russell Westbrook trades, it seems like they are moving towards a rebuild.
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, sources said. https://t.co/gKRsM7jYle
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 9, 2020
The Thunder lost in seven games to the Houston Rockets last week, defying season expectations by making the fifth seed in a year where most picked them to not make the playoffs. While Donovan will be a significant candidate for the league’s biggest job openings — Philly anybody? — this is an indication that the Thunder will have an active offseason.
Chris Paul would be the obvious first move but the track record for point guards after thirty is not favorable, and Paul is set to make $45 million several years down the road. Thankfully for the Thunder, a supposed contender just had a bad flameout and will likely make a panic move to keep their star. That team is the Milwaukee Bucks who just got eliminated by the Miami Heat in five games. It would probably have to be two of the Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez combination to make things work, which may seem like a steep price, but it became apparent that the Bucks lack a playmaker who can stretch the defense with their shooting and that is exactly what Paul excels at. The NBA is still ironing out dates for the draft and free agency, likely sometime in October, but when the trade market opens up, don’t be surprised if some sparks fly in Oklahoma City.