Bulls hire Billy Donovan as head coach for four-year contract

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Billy Donovan was not out of work for a long time. After mutually agreeing to step down as coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Donovan agreed to coach the Chicago Bulls, the team announced Tuesday. The deal is for four years and is worth north of $ 24 million, selon Shams Charania de The Athletic. The Bulls recently hired a new head of basketball operations, former Denver Nuggets executive Arturas Karnisovas, so the recruiting of Donovan completes their organizational overhaul and gives the Bulls a coach with high-level experience in playoffs and developmental experience at the University of Florida.

“We are very happy to welcome Billy and his family to the Chicago Bulls. The success he has experienced during his coaching career takes him to another level, ”Karnisovas said in a statement. “We think his ability to help his players reach their potential, both individually and collectively, will fit well on our roster. Whether as a player or as a coach, he has won wherever his career has taken him, and we hope that will continue. here in Chicago. ”

Yet the location is surprising through the lens of Donovan’s exit to Oklahoma City. His departure would have been based on the uncertainty of their future, with a likely reconstruction to come. The Thunder reportedly offered Donovan a two-year extension before the season, but he declined, and with a trade from Chris Paul looming, Donovan decided to test the market and see what else he could find. Now he’s landed a gig with a team in a somewhat similar position.

The Bulls have plenty of young talent like Coby White, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter, but rank No.4 overall in the upcoming NBA Draft and should struggle to reach the playoffs quickly in a conference of the crowded east. While the Bulls are further ahead, they’re still in the midst of a rebuild, but Chicago still managed to convince Donovan to take the job despite the potentially lean years ahead.

“I want to thank Jerry, Michael, Arturas and Marc for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls. I also want to thank them for the time and effort they put into this recruitment process. together on behalf of this historic franchise, ”Donovan said in a statement.

Chicago pursued Donovan aggressively as soon as he left the Thunder, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, is still looking for a replacement. Philadelphia, New Orleans, Houston and Indiana are also always on the lookout for new head coaches. With Donovan out of the market, the competition for the few remaining veteran head coaches with winning backgrounds will now get even tougher.

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