Is the Chicago Bulls’ Hiring of Billy Donovan a Good Move?

Wilson Irvin gives his opinion on the recent signing of the Chicago Bulls new Head Coach

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(Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Head coach of the OKC Thunder Billy Donovan talks with his players before the start of their game against the San Antonio Spurs

Wilson Irvin, Sports Editor

This past Tuesday, on September 22, the Chicago Bulls hired a longtime veteran coach, Billy Donovan to a four-year contract worth 24 million dollars guaranteed.

Speaking for all Bulls fans, we couldn’t be happier.

The number one priority for this offseason was to fire Jim Boylen and get a new front office. The Bulls did both. In my eyes, the worst coach in the NBA. He did not fit the organization at all and needed to be removed as soon as possible.

Personally, Billy Donavon was not my number one choice. Though, it doesn’t matter. I’m just happy that Jim Boylen is gone, and we have a coach who knows how to win. 

This is the first time since 2005 that the Chicago Bulls have not hired a first-time coach. Tom Thibadeau was a first-time coach, Fred Hoiberg was a first-time coach. Jim Boylen was a first-time coach. Billy Donovan is a veteran. 

Billy Donavon started his basketball coaching career at the University of Kentucky. He then bounced to other programs such as Florida, where he coached Joakim Noah (which is why I believe there is a connection between Billy Donovan and the Bulls).

His first job as a head coach was earned in 2015 as the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. This particular Oklahoma City Thunder would end up blowing a 3-1 lead to Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.

Billy Donovan with his two former players Kevin Durant (left) and Russell Westbrook (right) in a game during the 2015-2016 season. ( Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Players like Kevin Durant (former MVP), and Russell Westbrook (future MVP) obviously as the team’s core, and as Kevin Durant left for Golden State, people doubted the Thunder.

For all five seasons that Billy Donvan was head coach, he made the playoffs. 

This too has a large upside, as well as a small downside.

The upside is that he obviously knows what it takes to be a playoff team, and win in the playoffs. Going to the Conference Finals, and getting out the first round without one of the greatest scores of all-time, Kevin Durant

The downside to this is that he has never dealt with a rebuilding team.

The Chicago Bulls have been rebuilding since the Jimmy Butler trade, and have yet to make the playoffs. Billy Donavon is OKC made the playoffs every year with a star player.

Don’t get me wrong, Zach Lavine is a very good player. He is on the bubble of becoming an All-Star. However, having Kevin Durant, an MVP, Russell Westbrook, an MVP, Paul George, a six-time all-star, and Chris Paul, a ten-time all-star on your team, it helps you a lot. 

I’m very interested to see how this plays out. I have faith in Billy Donovan to be able to take on a rebuilding team and turn them into a playoff team in the next two years.

Another thing that Billy Donovan has done well with the teams that he has coached, is that they have always been great defensively.

Since he has been hired as the Thunder Head Coach (except his first year), the Oklahoma City Thunder has been a top ten defensive team in the NBA. 

I believe that this will help the Chicago Bulls a lot since defending hasn’t been their strong suit the past couple of years. However, young players like Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr. have shown the potential of becoming great defenders in this league.

All in all, I am very excited for Billy Donovan to take over as the Chicago Bulls head coach and I think he will do very well here in the Windy City. I wish him and the Chicago Bulls the best.