Chicago Bulls: 3 best HC candidates passed up for Billy Donovan

Doc Rivers, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Doc Rivers, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mike D'Antoni, Chicago Bulls
Mike D’Antoni (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

3) Candidates Chicago Bulls passed on to hire Billy Donovan: Mike D’Antoni

The former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, is very likely to land a head coaching job elsewhere this offseason if everything lines up right for him. He is one of the more proven winners and surprising departures that happened so far this offseason. Although D’Antoni seemed to be a good fit for a good Rockets team as their head coach, the writing was on the wall that they would part ways if they didn’t make it deep into the playoffs this year.

And while the four-seed Rockets met their match and more in the second round of the playoffs this year, against the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers and the superstar pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, expectations were higher than a five-game series loss. No team was able to win more than one game in a playoff series against the Lakers this year, but D’Antoni was let go nonetheless.

Moreover, D’Antoni carries a career head coaching record in the regular season of 672-527 (.560 winning percentage). And his record in the playoffs sits at 54-56 (.491 winning percentage). His record with the Rockets individually during the regular season was 217-101, and 28-23 in the playoffs. Both pretty solid marks for Space City.

D’Antoni is known for his aggressively modern open floor offensive tactics. The pace-and-space era in the NBA was really brought about by teams like the Rockets and Golden State Warriors. Any team that is looking to move their offense forward and really take their squad into the modern age of the NBA could look into hiring D’Antoni. The Bulls just elected to pass on him for the head coach he beat in the first round of the playoffs.