Just 16 games into the season, I doubt anyone believed we’d already be at such a drastic fork in the road regarding the future of the Chicago Bulls. Having lost six of their last seven games — including a devastating 107-108 loss to the actively tanking Orlando Magic — the pressure is mounting for this team, with head coach Billy Donovan certainly not excluded from this affair.
Earlier this month, I wrote a piece on how Donovan’s fourth quarter coaching was poisoning this team and actively losing very-winnable games. Fast forward 10 days, and things have only continued to worsen on that end. If things continue at their current rate, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine Donovan will still be the head coach of this team entering 2023.
Billy seems like a genuinely great person, and he’s certainly a step up from Jim Boylen, but that doesn’t excuse him from his egregious errors and inability to mold this team into a winner. This Chicago Bulls team is built to win now, and for some reason or other, they are failing to do just that.
Arguments could be made that this is Arturas Karnisovas’ fault for the roster construction, or that poor play from a recently extended Zach LaVine is holding this team down. Whatever the case may be, the blame will almost certainly fall on Donovan’s shoulders first, and he’s not exactly making a compelling argument that he deserves to keep his job.
If the Chicago Bulls decide to move on from Billy Donovan before the year ends, there are several quality candidates to choose from as the new head coach.
Should the Bulls decide to move on from Donovan, they can at the very least take comfort in the fact there remain quite a few quality options available. Several teams around the league have assistants competent enough to be above-average head coaches in this league, while even a few more accomplished coaches are currently unemployed in search of the right job opportunity.
As far as those opportunities go, it’s hard imagining many jobs more ideal than leading the charge for the Chicago Bulls. Having not made an NBA Finals appearance since Jordan’s last run in 1998, whoever brings this team back to the promised land will become a living legend in the halls of one of basketball’s most historic arenas. With so much uncertainty surrounding whether this team should continue with their commitment to win now or blow it all up before it’s too late, hopefully it’s not enough to scare off the league’s top candidates.
Before we dig in to the top 5, here are a few names I believe at least deserve a mention, even if they won’t be odds-on favorites for the position.
Honorable Mentions: Charles Lee, Terry Stotts, Jerry Stackhouse