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Mark Daigneault, new Oklahoma Thunder’s head coach: “Here I am home”

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The former assistant, Mark Daigneault, has been promoted to head coach of the Oklahoma Thunder replacing Billy Donovan after the consensual separation.

The Thunder, after a consensual separation from Billy Donovan, has decided to bet on the former assistant Mark Daigneault. Despite being rather young, Daigneault is very ambitious and has already the relevant experience to be the head coach. The 35-year-old Daigneault has been working for six years with the Oklahoma franchise and was considered by Sam Presti, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Oklahoma Thunder, the future head coach.

The choice of a coach who has shown great ability to work with younger players, especially in his five seasons in the G-League, sends a clear signal to the fans: the Thunder seem destined for a transition period. After the trades of Paul George and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City can think of rebuilding with a medium-term project. In this regard, Daigneault seems the ideal coach. Sam Presti looked delighted by the newly appointment and defined Daigneault as “a true leader” and a fundamental pillar of the project for the next years.

A project which may not see Chris Paul be part of it despite the superbe performances during the last NBA season. Chris Paul finished in sixth place in the race for the MVP prize and the Suns are already planning to bring him to Phoenix. Similar destiny for the free agent Danilo Gallinari who is willing to sign for a team which much higher ambitions.

The philosophy of Oklahoma Thunder for the next seasons seems to bet on younger players hoping for Daigneault to make again miracles. Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Darius Bazley, Hamidou Diallo and Lu Dort will be the solid backbone of this project, young players but already used to NBA pressure.  Mark Daigneault commented the appointment as a special opportunity, particularly due to the affection between him and the city of Oklahoma. So, good luck, Mark!

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