Let’s get it back to the Sixers.
Oklahoma City parted with ways with Billy Donovan following their game seven loss to the Houston Rockets, ending a five-year run.
He’s available now if the Sixers are interested, which apparently might be the case:
Billy Donovan's name has been floating around as a potential Sixers head coaching candidate this month, per sources. But the first order of business for Philadelphia is to get its front office situation sorted out. https://t.co/dsxzSENpZV
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) September 9, 2020
Donovan is an interesting name. His first Thunder team went 55-27 and lost in the Western Conference semifinals to Golden State in seven games. That was the famous Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook team that went up 3-1 on the Warriors and then lost three straight, leading to Durant’s departure the following season.
He coached OKC to four-straight winning seasons afterward, but each ended in a first round exit. The Thunder arguably overachieved this season following the departures of Westbrook and Paul George, running more pick and roll and playing a less frenetic, half court type of offense with the current personnel set.
Donovan is a veteran coach who might be able to get more out of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and he did coach Al Horford at Florida, so there’s a connection there. Still, any coach who comes in is going to have to try to work with pieces that don’t necessarily fit, and we’ve determined that it’s going to be a struggle for anybody.
As for the front office situation KOC mentions, Keith Pompey at the Inquirer is reporting that Alex Rucker might not be back:
“Multiple league sources don’t expect executive vice president of basketball operations Alex Rucker to be back next season. Brand has received a lot of criticism for the Sixers’ shortcomings and poor decisions. However, Rucker has been heavily involved behind the scenes in a lot of the decision-making, according to sources. Philly originally hired him as VP of analytics and strategy in October 2016 after seven years as the Toronto Raptors’ senior analytics consultant.”