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But general manager Sam Presti “anticipates” Donovan will be back on the job in the 2019-20 campaign, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com.
“I wouldn’t expect anything to change,” Presti said, per Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. “There’s nobody that works harder than him.”
Donovan has gone 199-120 as the team’s coach, leading the team to the playoffs in all four of his seasons. But since Kevin Durant departed in free agency, the Thunder haven’t won a playoff series, losing in five games to the Portland Trail Blazers this year.
That has led to questions, and debate, about who is most responsible for those disappointing outcomes.
Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols
The Thunder have now gone three straight postseasons without making it out of the first round. @PaulPierce34 thinks OKC needs to get rid of Billy Donovan, while @DarthAmin says GM Sam Presti and Russell Westbrook are more to blame. https://t.co/872TLKueEq
Should Presti shoulder the blame for the team’s roster construction and for trading James Harden in 2012 and losing Durant in free agency? Donovan for not getting the most out of a team led by Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams? Or perhaps Westbrook, who has posted gaudy stats but hasn’t proven he can win without Durant?
All three can point to positives in their resumes, too. Presti traded for George and re-signed him. Donovan has never missed the playoffs as a head coach. Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in three straight seasons, an absurd accomplishment.
But at some point, there will be accountability if the Thunder continue their playoff woes. For now, the triumvirate of Presti, Donovan and Westbrook remains. But if the same issues continue into the 2019-20 season, it may not remain for long.