Bulls would be insane to replace Billy Donovan after season

Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Bulls’ recent slip has left more questions than answers, with some fans even questioning whether Billy Donovan is the right coach for the team.

In NBC Chicago’s Insider KC Johnson’s latest mailbag, a fan asked about whether or not the Chicago Bulls executives should look into moving on from Billy Donovan.

Johnson quoted Rajon Rondo and said, ““Um, let me see how I can answer this. No.”

Johnson’s response is the correct answer and shouldn’t even be needed. While there was a huge investment in this team, along with an impending luxury tax issue if Zach LaVine magically makes an All-NBA team, there should be a grace period after just two years on the job with two completely different rosters.

This team welcomed seven new players who are integral pieces to their rotation. They have had awful luck with injuries that has kept them from building any real chemistry. When they were getting into a groove, their starting point guard and defensive stopper Lonzo Ball hurt his knee. Next their defensive anchor, Alex Caruso, was snatched out of the air by Grayson Allen and was sidelined for nearly two months.

There’s no way the Bulls move on from Billy Donovan, right?

In that stretch, Chicago went from on top of the east to fifth place, and are now hanging by two games to avoid the play-in tournament.

Granted, there are plenty of teams also dealing with injuries, like the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. But those teams have cores that have had meaningful runs together. Chicago’s best player is new, and so are their main role players.

Donovan has taken the blame for not having the role guys prepared and has even changed his lineups to try to better maximize everyone’s current skill set. Some of the changes have worked, but it has only showed dividends against sub-.500 teams. The Bulls’ problem is and has been against good teams.

The fix to all of these issues is time. The team needs more reps/games to build chemistry, find their defensive identity, and develop as a whole. Right now, Donovan is relying on five players who have little to no postseason experience — two of which are in their “big three.”

Donovan has been with the Bulls for not even two full seasons and has had completely different rosters in both years. He hasn’t had nearly enough time to develop relationships with a good portion of his personnel, either. It’s rare that a coach can come in with an already-gelled core and make a difference, and it’s almost impossible to do it with a new group.

The veteran head coach has tried his best to pivot this season and see the Bulls through this tough stretch. He shouldn’t be judged until the team is able to completely build their chemistry without having it interrupted by roster makeovers or injuries.

light. Related Story. Here’s what Billy Donovan can learn from Tyronn Lue during Bulls-Clippers