So Billy Donovan Reportedly Wasn't the Only One Who Got a Contract Extension ...

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So Billy Donovan Reportedly Wasn’t the Only One Who Got a Contract Extension …

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls successfully performed a somersault … so they thought they could land a backflip.

After finishing with the 6th seed in their first winning season since the 2015-16 campaign, the Bulls felt like the only way to go was up. Not only did they set high expectations ahead of this regular season, but it didn’t take long for news to break that head coach Billy Donovan received a contract extension over the summer.

Indeed, it was a decision that was kept under wraps until The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported it in late November. The Bulls were off to a concerning 9-11 start on the year, forcing many to question why the front office doubled down on their head coach so quickly. Fast forward to today, and that question remains. And it isn’t the only one of its kind.

According to Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times, Donovan wasn’t the only behind-the-scenes face to receive an extension. While he didn’t name names, Cowley does that a majority of the notable faces received a new paycheck after last season’s success story:

Donovan and his coaching staff all received contract extensions back in fall camp. The Sun-Times learned that most of the major players throughout the front office were also extended prior to the 2023-24 campaign.

The Bulls rarely detail front office contracts, so that’s why there was no announcement or leak of it.

Look, on one hand, I get rewarding people for a job well done. The Bulls did make an impressive turnaround last season, and those on the coaching staff and front office deserve credit for making that happen. At the same time, those same people deserve criticism for how quickly things went south. The Bulls ended the year 40-42 and 10th in the Eastern Conference. This now marks Chicago’s sixth sub-.500 season in the past seven seasons.

If the goal for the organization is to reach sustained success, how can you extend the entire brain trust after only one solid season? And I want to really emphasize the use of a word like “solid” and not “great.” The Bulls finished 6th in the East. That’s one spot out of the Play-In Tournament. They went on to lose 4-1 in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks and three of those losses were by 16 or more points. Again, it was a step in the right direction, but was it worthy of a self-indulgent extension spree? Clearly not.

I’m not saying that I planned to call for anyone’s head in the front office or coaching staff after this season. Particularly when it comes to Billy Donovan, I think the criticism has been a bit overblown. But what makes me really uncomfortable is the fact that the people who built this incredibly flawed roster are now less likely to see any sort of repercussions.

I don’t know. I’m not trying to get too worked up about this since we don’t know all the logistics of the contracts and whatnot. But this does add to the overall embarrassment of this season. No team that struggled and underachieved as much as the Bulls should be complacent with the entire front office and coaching staff. Unfortunately, that seems to be the situation they have put themselves in.

Something … something … continuity!

Author: Elias Schuster

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