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OKC Thunder: Which coaches made trip to Orlando?

Billy Donovan won't have his full complement of assistant coaches on the bench with him in Orlando, but six of his seven assistants were included in the Thunder's travel party. 

Longtime Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks, 63, made the trip. He'll sit on the first row of the bench with Donovan, Brian Keefe and Mark Daigneault. Assistants Dave Bliss, David Akinyooye and Mike Wilks are also with the team. 

Vin Bhavnani is the only Thunder assistant who isn't in the Disney World bubble. Bhavnani joined the Thunder 12 years ago as the team's video coordinator. He worked five years as manager of advance scouting/player development, and is in his fourth season as an assistant coach. 

Team travel parties were limited to 37 people. The Thunder brought 16 players and seven coaches to Orlando. That leaves 14 spots for trainers, medical personnel, equipment managers, video staff and a public relations staff member, among other positions. 

Donovan, after practice Friday, said that it was "really, really hard" to finalize the list. 

"We've got guys that do multiple things as it relates to scouting, player development, on-court coaching," Donovan said. "We have other guys that are in different kind of roles where it's maybe very, very specific with what they're doing. I think they're all valuable. I think every coaching staff in the league's been having to deal with this." 

It's expected that teams will be allowed to bring more staff members into the bubble for the playoffs. Until then, some Thunder staffers will work remotely from Oklahoma City. 

"They're all involved even though they're not here," Donovan said. 

Related Photos
Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan watches from the bench next to assistant Maurice Cheeks during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan watches from the bench next to assistant Maurice Cheeks during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ed4723437241ec5bedf17cd3b84438f4.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan watches from the bench next to assistant Maurice Cheeks during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan watches from the bench next to assistant Maurice Cheeks during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan watches from the bench next to assistant Maurice Cheeks during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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