The Chicago Bulls face a crossroads season. It is year three since acquiring DeMar DeRozan, but the franchise failed to make the playoffs last season. They are more postseason hopeful than a contender, and Lonzo Ball has already been ruled out for the second consecutive season. The Bulls need to charge up the standings or consider blowing things up.
Zach LaVine was in trade rumors this summer and could be back on the block before the deadline. DeMar DeRozan is in the final year of his contract. It is time to extend him or explore his market. The Bulls re-signed Nikola Vucevic and added pieces in free agency this summer. They plan to contend, and if they are struggling, head coach Billy Donovan could be on the chopping block.
Things were already heated after losing the opener, and there is certainly pressure on the Bulls.
Chicago has plenty of options if they open up their head coaching role. Donovan has not been the problem, but the team’s struggles will be pinned on him. Here are the top options the Bulls should explore if they decide to move on from their current head coach.
5. Chris Fleming
Fleming joined the Bulls in 2019 after four seasons as an NBA assistant. He spent his first year in Denver before joining the Nets for three. Fleming played college basketball at Richmond and had a seven-year professional career in Germany. He was the head coach of QTSV, his former German team, for eight years and led the German National Team before coming to Chicago.
Fleming filled in for Billy Donovan in 2021, and the team had a 5-0 record during his time as acting head coach.
If Donovan is let go, there is a strong chance the 53-year-old assistant will take over as the interim, but multiple championship coaches are free agents. The Bulls would have to explore their options. Regardless, Fleming has a solid chance of being the squad’s next head coach, especially if they are entering a rebuild.