The Oklahoma City Thunder had one of the most disappointing offseasons in recent memory. They traded away two All-Stars in exchange for some aging veterans, young prospects, and draft picks. Team head coach Billy Donovan is now facing the task of keeping this team competitive next season, but his former colleagues in the NCAA believe that he has what it takes to do just that.

In an interview with The Athletic's Brett Dawson, Tennessee Tech head coach John Pelphrey said that Donovan will not be fazed by what happened to OKC this summer.

“Some people may look at the thing and say, ‘Wow, Billy, what have you gotten yourself into?’” I don’t see him, quite honestly, being discouraged at all.”

Moreover, Georgia Southern coach Rob Lanier said that Donovan will not be pressured to meet anyone's expectations.

“He won’t be motivated to prove people wrong. That’s not how he’s wired. His motivation is truly internal. This is a challenge, and he’s gonna judge himself on whether or not he meets the challenge.”

Both Pelphrey and Lanier worked as assistants to Donovan during his time with as the head coach of the University of Florida. So they have an idea of what the OKC coach is capable of, and they wouldn't be surprised if he and the Thunder will surprise a lot of people next season.

Losing Paul George and Russell Westbrook in a span of weeks definitely was a huge blow to what the Thunder was trying to build over the past couple of years. But the team received a lot of assets in return, and they can use those to jumpstart the rebuild process. It won't be easy, but it also gives the franchise something to look forward to.

Which at this point, seems promising.