Where exactly is Billy Donovan going to be coaching come the fall? After spurning Kentucky's job offer it seemed clear that the two-time National Championship winner would be returning to the sidelines in Gainesville. That clarity got muddled come the end of the NBA season and a spate of coaching jobs opening up on the professional level. It's easy to understand why Donovan wouldn't leave Florida for another collegiate job - why go out for hot dogs when you've got a T-Bone on the grill at home? But the NBA and the chance to conquer an entirely new basketball world, that's a different story.
Yahoo! Sports reported on Monday that the Memphis Grizzlies offered Donovan $5 million a year to coach their club. Donovan countered by asking for total control of the basketball operations and, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, that was too rich a deal for Memphis owner Michael Heisley to make with a guy who has no pro experience. Florida assistant coach Larry Shyatt called Wojnarowski's article bunk by saying that Donovan never interviewed and never asked for anything. It seems likely that Florida is trying to stem any future advances toward their coach but even Shyatt admits that Heisley spoke with Donovan so the question of whether or not it was an "interview" is a semantic one. Donovan is now in Ireland with friends so his side of the story, whatever it is, remains unknown. What is clear, though, is that teams aren't going to stop making forays for Donovan's services.
David Whitley has a column in today's Orlando Sentinel that advocates pushing Brian Hill out of his job to entice the Gator coach with a job that would barely require his relocation. There's an opening in Indiana, potentially in Houston and maybe Pat Riley steps up his retirement timetable if Donovan is interested in moving further downstate. Donovan probably learned from Rick Pitino that money isn't enough of a reason to take a job, after all he's going to be rich and comfortable in Gainesville for as long as he wants. The right pro job with the right organization, something he may have learned from Pitino's time coaching him with the Knicks, could pry him loose. Florida hasn't finalized that extension with their coach yet and they really might want to get that done before resting on the belief that he'll be back when practice opens in October.