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Gator Report

Antonya English

Donovan Pondering NBA Offer

ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic has offered Florida coach Billy Donovan a six-year deal, which the Florida coach is considering at this time.

The offer, reportedly six years, $36 million came on Thursday morning.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley is in Destin at the SEC spring meetings, along with president Bernie Machen, neither of whom could be immediately reached for comment.

Donovan is considering the offer, and a decision could come as early as Thursday evening. Florida officials would not comment publicly on the reports.

Earlier this month, Donovan had an informal interview with Memphis, but said late last week that is "only focus is on coaching Florida basketball.''

Donovan has been a hot commodity since winning back-to-back national titles. Entering his 12th season, he, Foley and Machen have been in contract talks for several months, and Foley said earlier this week the deal was "very close' to being done.

But apparently the Magic offer has changed things. It is believed the Magic job is attractive to Donovan because the transition would be much easier on his family, which may not have to make the move to Orlando immediately.

Donovan has in the past expressed an interest to coach in the NBA. Several of Donovan's former players are in Orlando this week for the NBA Pre-Draft camp, and expressed concern about his possibly leaving.

"I support Coach D regardless,'' former forward Joakim Noah said. "That's surprising (his considering the offer), but that's a lot of hamburgers (the substantial amount of money). It's unbelievable.''

Noah used his cell phone to call former player and UF assistant coach Major Parker, who told him it was his belief that Donovan was going to accept the job.

Former forward Corey Brewer said he always expected that Donovan would one day try his hand in the NBA, although he didn't expect it to be this soon.

"Everybody wants to see how they might do in the NBA,'' he said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:16pm]

    

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