The Bulls made a huge move on Tuesday, hiring Billy Donovan as their next head coach
The Bulls have one of the youngest rosters in all of the NBA, and they did not mesh whatsoever with Jim Boylen. Frankly, Boylen wouldn’t have worked with most NBA franchises, as the Association is a star-driven league which Donovan’s predecessor didn’t have much respect for.
Donovan, meanwhile, has had success both at the collegiate level at Florida and in Oklahoma City at reaching young players. With emerging stars such as Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkannen and Coby White among others, Donovan has the pedigree and personal skills to get the most out of this group, rather than stoke the flames Boylen created in the first place. Per Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a fit that just makes sense.
Why did Donovan choose the Bulls over other high-profile openings?
While the likes of the 76ers and even Pacers have better rosters on paper, the Bulls offer some stability for Donovan that he couldn’t get at those locations. Indianapolis is far from a free agent destination, while Chicago is a large market that can offer Donovan the ability to go out and attract stars in the coming years as this roster progresses.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, offers a great opportunity but major question marks. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have been struggling to coexist for years now, and it’s unclear if they have any definitive direction under the leadership of Elton Brand. Brett Brown was a scapegoat, and it’s a position Donovan would rather not find himself in three years down the line should the 76ers not reach their ultimate goal.
Donovan’s decision to leave Oklahoma City was deemed a surprise by many, though it makes sense given the direction of the franchise after this season.
The Bulls are a project, but they’re his project. And the upside is tremendous.