The Chicago Bulls hire of Billy Donovan has a direct impact on the team and their current rebuild.
The Chicago Bulls rebuild has stalled out over the course of the past couple of seasons.
The Bulls were plagued with a front office that refused to adapt to the modern styles. On top of that, the Bulls were plagued with poor coaching whether it be from Fred Hoiberg, or most recently, Jim Boylen.
However, the Bulls rebuild seemed to be re-ignited when the decision was made this past off-season to completely overturn the front office. Out as decision-makers were John Paxson and Gar Forman and enter Arturas Karnisovas as the new executive vice president of basketball operations for the Bulls. Forman is no longer with the organization while Paxson was moved to more of an advisory role. Karnisovas is the chief decision-maker of all basketball moves for the Bulls and he has new general manager Marc Eversley by his side.
After Karnisovas and Eversley did not immediately fire Boylen as the head coach of the Bulls, criticism quickly drew that the Bulls were still going to be stalled in their rebuild. That changed when Boylen was fired on August 14, the official last day of the NBA Regular Season.
With Boylen no longer in the picture as the team’s head coach, the idea was that the Bulls were going to target a rising assistant head coach as their next head coach. Ime Udoka of the Philadelphia 76ers and Wes Unseld Jr of the Denver Nuggets were among the rising assistants that were believed to be finalists for the Bulls’ head coaching job.
Instead, the Bulls shocked the NBA world on Tuesday when they announced that they hired former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan as their new head coach. Not only did the move confirm a new direction for the Bulls, but also confirmed that this rebuild will be handled exactly how it should be.
It goes without saying that Donovan’s hire will have a direct impact on the Bulls’ rebuild.
The first impact is that Karnisovas’ will not have spending restrictions as he oversees the Bulls’ basketball operations. Meaning, before Boylen was fired, there was speculation that Bulls’ chairman Jerry Reinsdorf may limit the financial resources that are at Karnisovas’ disposal given the current budgetary climate as a result of the pandemic.
However, with the Bulls hiring the most expensive coaching candidate on the Market in Donovan, it signals that Karnisovas will have the financial resources available to him to make any move that he sees fit. Furthermore, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic believes that the Bulls could be among the most active teams in terms of roster moves over the course of the next calendar year.
The second impact, and perhaps most important, is that Donovan’s hire restores credibility in the relationship between the Bulls’ players and their head coach. For the tortured souls that chose to watch the Bulls over the course of the past couple of seasons, it was clear that the Bulls’ roster did not respect Boylen. Look no further than star player Zach LaVine.
Whether it was rolling his eyes towards Boylen during timeouts or openly cursing out the head coach while at the free throw line, LaVine had little respect for his coach. It was clear that if Boylen was not going to be fired, then LaVine would likely be on the trade market. While LaVine may not be a bonafide superstar, it is clear that he could be the second piece in an eventual Big-3 for the Bulls. That would be why LaVine’s endorsement of the Donovan hire on Tuesday was important.
— Zach LaVine (@ZachLaVine) September 22, 2020
The NBA is a reputation league. It goes without saying that the Bulls’ reputation around league circles was less than desirable. Between LaVine’s frustration with Boylen and how other players across the league viewed Boylen, the Bulls were not a desirable destination for free agents and superstars. But, by landing a respectable and reputable head coach that openly wanted to come to Chicago, the Bulls reputation across the league will change.
Not only is this a new and shining moment for the Bulls’ rebuild, but it marks a new period of time for the Bulls’ organization.
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