Billy Donovan wants out? Magic should let him -- at a price

News out of Orlando, Fla., is that Billy Donovan wants out of the $27.5 million contract he signed with the Magic last week to return as head coach of the Florida Gators.

The way I see it, the Magic have very little choice in this matter. Yes, they could hold him to the contract he signed and force him to coach their team. But what good would that do? As an organization, you want complete commitment and complete buy-in from everyone, from ownership down to the last ticket-selling employee. Having a head coach that doesn't necessarily want to be there is likely to be a disaster for all involved.

That said, Donovan did sign a contract, and that can't be ignored, either. The Magic invested significant resources in bringing Donovan there, and with the draft less than a month away, beginning the search for another coach is, at best, an incredible inconvenience for the Magic.

The best solution for everyone involved is for the Magic to allow Donovan to return to Gainesville, but only after negotiating some sort of buyout of the contract that he already signed. After all, if I sign a contract to purchase a house, I can't exactly move out after two days and give back the loan and say, "You know, I just changed my mind."

Donovan should have to pay some kind of monetary amount to the Magic for backing out of the agreement. It's not about punishing Donovan; it's about the Magic getting something for the investment they made in hiring Donovan. Something in the $1 million range would seem to be adequate, and here's to betting that those boosters in Gatorville won't even hesitate to pony up the finances to get their beloved coach back on the sidelines.

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