Who Benefits Most from the Billy Donovan Hire? And Other Bulls Bullets

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Who Benefits Most from the Billy Donovan Hire? And Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

We’ve now entered a full week without BN Bulls Twitter. I’m not sure why the social media gods have chosen to punish us like this, but I’ll do anything to fix it. Should I sacrifice one of my best tweets ever? Should I sell my desire for an edit button? Just tell me what I can do.

In all seriousness, though, if somehow any of our readers knows a real human at Twitter who can help us (they have yet to respond to our emails), let us know. WE JUST WANT TO TWEET ABOUT AN ORANGE BALL.

•   The other day on my friends’ Bulls-centric podcast, Talkin’ Toros, we all tried to answer a simple yet important question: Who will benefit most from the Billy Donovan hire? A response didn’t take much time, and we all almost immediately agreed that Wendell Carter Jr. was the clear-cut No. 1 choice. Not only does Donovan have a track record of successfully developing big men, but Carter Jr. arguably has more untapped potential than anyone on the roster. Jim Boylen turned Carter Jr. into an afterthought on the offensive end, and he forced him to run a rather unfavorable system on the defensive end. Even still, the guy rack-up double-doubles and cracked the Rising Stars roster, and if he can do that despite Boylen’s gross misuse, think about what he can do under a coach that will play to his strengths.

•   Bulls writer Stephen Noh described why Carter Jr. will be the biggest benefactor of the Bulls new hire in his latest blog post. I strongly encourage you to give it a read. What Noh does perfectly is emphasize just how big of a contributor Carter Jr. can be in the passing game. Time and again last season I found myself yelling at the TV to get Carter Jr. more involved (among many many many other things). As Noh points out, Carter had a weak 51 assists last season and a large chunk came off one-option dribble handoffs. We’d watch Carter Jr. waltz to the elbow, catch the ball, and give it right back to a sweeping player. Numerous times he could’ve popped a mid-range jumper or put the ball on the floor, but it was clear the coaching staff discouraged anything of the sort. The fact of the matter is, Carter Jr. was viewed as one of the elite prospects in the 2018 draft, in part, because of his offensive potential. He isn’t a true center by any sense of the term. The kid has a decent stroke and solid ball control for a player his size. Up until this point the Bulls have failed to put him in the best position to succeed, and that’s something Donovan has proven to do incredibly well.

•   Some Athletic writers got together to talk more about Donovan’s fits with the Bulls, so check it out. While they all posed some fair and interesting questions, each member of the roundtable seems to believe Chicago made the right hire. Who doesn’t agree? Scottie Pippen. Yesterday, we found out he Bulls legend wasn’t “impressed” with Donovan’s resume, and he thought the Bulls front office could’ve done better. We’ll have to agree to STRONGLY disagree, Pip.

•   If Wendell Carter Jr. is “most likely to succeed” under Donovan, Lauri Markkanen may be the runner-up.

•   Boylen turned Markkanen into a shell of his former self. He averaged career-low numbers as he stood like a statue behind the 3-point line and became allergic to rebounds (went from 9.0 per game to 6.3 per game). Donovan should finally put Markkanen on the move and help mix-up his shot selection, But, to be honest, I think the best thing Donovan will do for Markkanen is provide him with newfound confidence. We know that Markkanen’s skillset fits this current league well. We know he can be a double-double machine. We just need Markkanen to know that.

•   College Zach knew how to make a highlight.


•   NBA Zach is a human highlight reel.


•   I mean, this is cool and all … but don’t you also want real fans involved?

Author: Elias Schuster

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