Following up on a comment he made in a March column, ESPN.com‘s Marc Stein expanded on his reporting Thursday, noting that Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan is giving serious consideration to moving on from college to coaching in the NBA as soon as next season.
According to Stein, who is citing league sources, NBA executives have been led to believe that Donovan is “looking to make the jump to the NBA more than ever before.”
The interest in Donovan has been consistent from NBA teams since his no-compete clause ran out following the 2011-12 season.
As Stein notes, Cleveland and Minnesota were both after Donovan last season, though he ultimately turned down inquiries from both franchises.
More than a half dozen teams have informally gauged Donovan’s interest since the expiration of that clause, sources close to the coach told OnlyGators.com in March.
Stein further reports that Donovan is “prepared to make the move this offseason if the ‘right’ opportunity arises.” So far, only Denver and Orlando have openings and “both of those clubs plan to have Donovan on their list of targets.” However, a number of other franchises will change head coaches this offseason, including some that make the NBA Playoffs.
For Donovan, the “right” opportunity would most likely include a heavy amount of organizational control, sources have told OnlyGators.com regarding Donovan’s NBA interest over the last few years.
With a $500,000 buyout, Donovan can easily be snatched up by an NBA team, despite the fact that he signed a one-year contract extension in Dec. 2014 linking him with the Gators through the 2019-20 season.
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