Thunder GM Sam Presti ‘Anticipates’ Billy Donovan Returning as HC for 2019-20

PORTLAND, OREGON - APRIL 23: Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts to an officials call during the second half of Game Five of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on April 23, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers won 118-115.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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The Oklahoma City Thunder have bowed out of the playoffs in the first round the past three seasons, leading to questions about the job security of head coach Billy Donovan

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.

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.

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