OKC Thunder: Could Billy Donovan be a candidate for the Knicks?

OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder and Sam Presti have yet to extend Billy Donovan. Could he be in play for the Knicks head coaching job?

As the NBA World scrambles for answers on when or how they can restart the season, the OKC Thunder have questions to answer in house. Should they extend their head coach, Billy Donovan?

Donovan’s job security has been debated almost since the moment he landed in Bricktown. He was placed on the hot seat by fans each of the last two years, and now he is at the end of his contract.

However, his career arc took an unexpected turn for the better this season. After casting off the face of the franchise, and looking as if the team was hurling towards a rebuild, Donovan displayed his best coaching performance yet.

For my money, the Thunder head man is this season’s Coach of the Year. What he has done, from deploying three-guard lineups to getting some of these veterans to buy-in to this team, and even developing two-way standout Lu Dort on the fly, has been nothing short of impressive.

If I was the General Manager of the OKC Thunder, the first thing I would do is create a team to re-design the logo. The second thing I would do is extend Billy Donovan’s contract. If you would’ve asked me earlier this month, I thought it was a no brainer that Presti would push a new contract across Donovan’s desk.

After Sam Presti’s press conference this week, I have my reservation as to if a deal truly gets done.

Presti left his answer vague, as he normally does, in saying that he “hopes” he and Donovan will have “productive” contract discussions this offseason.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, if I was a betting man, I would still bet on Donovan returning to the Thunder bench next season.

The time is now to extend Billy Donovan. light. Related Story

The issue with Presti’s statement is the fact that his vagueness provides no value to the OKC Thunder. What more does Billy Donovan have to do to prove he deserves an extension? We are all just hoping this spunky team can make it out of the first round whenever play resumes. This waiting game can not be tied to this postseason.

In terms of negotiations, no matter if Sam Presti outright said: “I want Billy Donovan to be the head coach of the OKC Thunder forever.” That does not move the needle in coaches’ salaries.

Lastly, we are literally in a global pandemic with nothing to do but social distance, and Donovan is on the final year of his deal. If you wanted him back next season, why not just extend him immediately?

There is nothing more Donovan can do in 2019-20 to prove his worth to Presti, so at this point, the organization has to be either in or out on the head man.

With so much uncertainty surrounding Billy Donovan’s future and given the fact he is a free man once we put a bow on the 2019-20 season, could he be in the play for the New York Knicks gig?

I know the Knicks normally like to make a splash. Right now rumors are swirling about them bringing in Marc Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, or even Tom Thibodeau to right the ship in the big apple.

Could new Knicks president Leon Rose go an entirely different route? Something more under the radar, like bringing in hometown hero Billy Donovan to pace the sidelines in MSG?

While OKC Thunder fans soured on him quickly, they have come around to his style as he has proven that without the big egos and iso players, he has a true offensive system and schemes that work.

He is a Coach of the Year candidate and is a New York guy through and through. While he can handle the bright lights of time square, he is also a great PR guy to bring in. He will not spout anything off to the media that gets ripped to shreds on the back page of every paper on the newsstand.

That would be a refreshing reset for the organization.

Rose and the Knicks have also expressed great interest in Chris Paul since the moment he was traded to the Thunder. CP3 and Donovan have spoken highly of each other, and have been a great marriage this season.

Related Story. Pros and cons of trading Chris Paul to New York Knicks. light

When you think of CP3 you typically think of his attitude, and the fact he bumps heads with every coach he has crossed paths with. That is until he got paired with Donovan.

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BD allows for CP3 to be the coach on the floor while the Point God runs Donovan’s system flawlessly. For the first time in his career, Paul has been the standard of professionalism and leadership. It can not be a coincidence that CP made a huge change once he came to a great organization, with young talent to mentor, and a player-friendly coach.

If you are the Knicks, why not make a play for CP3 as well as bring in Billy Donovan so the two guys can implement a much needed culturally reset in the city that never sleeps?

The Rockville Centre, New York native will not make headlines. You will not find him on Knicks blogs coaching search lists, but he is a viable candidate for the storied franchise.

Next. OKC Thunder: 5 Key takeaways from Sam Presti's press conference. dark