Back on May 21st, we were disappointed to learn that Texas Tech assistant Mark Adams would be returning to campus next season, despite interest from the Chicago Bulls. After all, one of the few, positive takeaways from Jim Boylen’s contract extension was supposed to be an increased ability to pull together a quality coaching staff without inspiring fear of an impending regime change (plus Boylen and Adams go way back). Indeed, his defensive expertise would have been a nice addition to one of basketball’s least efficient defensive squads. Alas, it was not to be.
Fortunately, he’s not the only name out there for the gig. According to the Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, the Bulls have gotten over being dumped by Adams, and are putting themselves right back out there:
Bulls interviewed Roy Rogers for assistant coaching job, per sources. Rogers, who also has worked with the Nets and Wizards, spent last 3 seasons on Mike D'Antoni's staff in Houston.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 3, 2019
Rogers, 45, was drafted by the Grizzlies back in 1996 (22nd overall), and eventually made his way through the Celtics, Raptors, and Nuggets organizations. Rogers even made his way to the Bulls along with a 1999 second-round pick, in a deal for Scottie Pippen, but was waived by the team after appearing in just one game. Funny how small the world can be.
Ultimately, his professional playing career wasn’t much to write home over (4.8 points per game between 1996 and 2000), but that’s not where his basketball story ended.
After taking a few jobs as an assistant and head coach for some NBA Development League teams, he became a scout for the Nets and Celtics. In 2013, he joined Jason Kidd’s coaching staff and eventually moved onto the Wizards. Most recently Rogers was an assistant coach for the Rockets, where he’s been for the last four seasons. As K.C. Johnson pointed out, Rogers has been an assistant to Lawrence Frank, Doc Rivers, Jason Kidd, and Randy Wittman. That’s an interesting cast of coaches to work with, to say the least.
And like Adams before him, Rogers’ speciality lies on defense. With Chris Flemming, known for his creative offensive schemes, already in house, adding a defensive specialist like Rogers makes a lot of sense – again, especially for a team like the Bulls. On top of that, Rogers is also known for his ability connect and relate to big men, so you can see how his fit would work well for a team who’s future relies heavily on guys like Lauri Markkanen and Wendall Carter Jr. Then again, the Rockets let go of defensive czar Jeff Bzdelik after their playoff elimination at the hands of the Warriors. Even after a strong showing in the second half, the Rockets still finished 19th in adjusted defensive rating.
Obviously, at this point, we’re just talking about an interview, but it’s not difficult to see the fit. Rogers has a speciality in (one of) this team’s areas of weakness, experience with big men, and the pedigree of working under some high-profile coaches. We’ll let you know as soon as there’s more.
UPDATE: According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Rogers has been hired, agreeing to a three-year deal with the Bulls, which lines up with Boylen’s extension. According to K.C. Johnson, the Bulls were quite impressed by Rogers.
Former Rockets assistant Roy Rogers has agreed to a three-year deal to join the Chicago Bulls an assistant coach, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2019