Billy Donovan Rumors
Did Durant deceive the Thunder in any way? Donovan, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: I think Kevin on the front end was very, very honest. When the season ended, he was going to go through this process, and he was going to take a meeting with us obviously first and then he was going to have some other teams he was going to meet with. And I think a little bit later on, after the season ended, they decided to do it out in the Hamptons. But I thought the meeting that we had went very well. I think we talked about basketball. We talked about our team. We talked about direction, talked about obviously his leadership, his role – all those kind of things. And I think, leaving the meeting, it was very, very, I thought, positive. I thought it was very, very clear. I think there was direction on both sides.
And the one thing I think with Kevin was that going through nine years with the organization, he was at a point in time where he was allowed obviously to be this free agent and go through this process and start to gather some information. We were the first meeting. So, obviously, I think, being in college for so long and you go through recruiting, you know that during that process things can change through some of these different meetings. And obviously, after meeting with Golden State, things probably in his mind probably changed.
With pieces like Westbrook and Oladipo to scheme around, contract talks and recruiting weren’t Donovan’s talking points when they spent time together this summer. “We never really talked about any of that stuff,” Donovan said. “My conversations with Russell were always about the team, next season, what we have to do, how we need to play.”
Oladipo has also started to cultivate a relationship with his new coach. Two days after that failed free agency trip to The Hamptons, Billy Donovan went to Orlando for summer league. While there, he met up with Oladipo, who drove him out to a dinner that Oladipo said went “great.” “I’ve known Billy since I’ve been in college actually,” Oladipo said. “He recruited me, but kinda late. So he didn’t get a chance to get me. But when we first talked, he said, ‘I couldn’t get you in college, but I got you now.’ I love his intensity as a coach, love how he builds relationships with players. Love his offenses.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Kevin Durant had been recruiting Horford to OKC, but Horford eliminated OKC with no assurance Durant/Westbrook staying long-term. Thunder could’ve unloaded contracts — including Kanter — to create slot for Horford. Billy Donovan, Durant pitched him. Never went far.