Billy Donovan Just Got Dumped by OKC and the Bulls Are Already Expected to Have Interest

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Billy Donovan Just Got Dumped by OKC and the Bulls Are Already Expected to Have Interest

Chicago Bulls

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced on Tuesday night that the Oklahoma City Thunder and head coach Billy Donovan have mutually agreed to part ways.

The decision comes only a couple of days after the Thunder lost their first-round matchup with the Houston Rockets in a series that went seven games. The team finished the season as the 5th seed in the Western Conference with a record of 44-28. Considering many would say the team overachieved after the departure of Russell Westbrook and Paul George this offseason, the decision feels somewhat surprising. However, if we look past the surface, a separation does make at least some sense.

Despite a solid roster with Chris Paul at the helm, the team we saw this season is not the plan moving forward. The organization grabbed an incredible number of assets after trading both Westbrook and George, and a full rebuild is on the horizon.

According to Woj, this served as the main reason the two sides decided to call it a quits.

As co-winner of the NBA Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year Award this season, there is no doubt Donovan has respect within league circles. He should immediately be considered in the top tier of coaching candidates on the market, and chances are it’s only a matter of time before he gets a couple interviews.

The question now is, will one of those interviews come from the Bulls?

Well, just as I was writing this … Woj dropped some VERY interesting news:

Color me interested.

If Donovan wasn’t sure about the hazy future in OKC, it’d be a bit surprising if he was all-in on the Bulls situation. However, as Arturas Karnisovas has said in the past, there is no plan to fully rebuild this Bulls team. Perhaps he could give Donovan a much clearer image of the Bulls path, one that would make him comfortable enough to take the head coach chair.

I still think there is value to a first-time head coach for this organization, and that remains the bulk of the names on the candidate list, but Donovan is a level-headed coach who could bring a level of professionalism to an organization that has lacked it for the past several seasons. On top of that, his past experience as a standout college head coach has him well-equipped in the player development department. He’s a coach who knows what it takes to work successful with young talent, and we all know that’s arguably the most important quality Karnisovas is looking for in this coaching search.

Anyway, this should be particularly interesting to follow, especially since The Athletic’s Sam Amick already has him tied to the 76ers, as well. Chicago has reportedly just finished first-round interviews with a handful of candidates, so the fact that they hopped on Donovan this quickly means they’re legitimately very interested. Let’s see what happens.

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.