Though some fans have called for his job following another first-round exit from the postseason, Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan is expected to return to his post next season, according to Thunder general manager Sam Presti.
"I wouldn't expect anything to change," Presti said of the Thunder's coaching staff at his exit interview on Monday, via the Oklahoman. "There's nobody that works harder than him."
Donovan has spent four seasons with the Thunder, and while his team's have had solid success in the regular season, they have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in three consecutive seasons following the departure of Kevin Durant in free agency in 2016. Despite their lack of recent postseason success, though, Presti is standing by Donovan.
"Our job isn't just to sit here and react to things," Presti said. "It's to be methodical and understand how we can get better, what's the plan for that. Last year, the team wasn't good enough defensively and we put our heads together and became better. ... The margins of error are small. We're not entitled to anything. We don't come into the year expecting to be automatically be served up. But you've also go to perform when you get there."
You can see Presti's comments on Donovan below, via Nate Feken of KFOR:
Part of being a good coach is developing solid relationships with your top players, and Donovan seems to have done that, as Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook stated at his own exit interview that he has a solid rapport with his coach.
"It's been good," Westbrook said of his relationship with Donovan. "You know, me personally, I've never had a problem with Coach Donovan, and we've always been straightforward with each other and always had a good communication of respect for each other's jobs and respect for how hard we both work at what we want best for this team. So it's been good."
Donovan has compiled a 199-129 regular-season record during his time with the Thunder, but he has gone just 4-12 in the postseason since Durant's departure. Despite this lack of playoff success, Presti and the Thunder clearly still have faith that Donovan is the right guy for the job.