Bulls

Bulls' Donovan signed extension before start of season

Bulls

Billy Donovan is here to stay as head coach of the Chicago Bulls.

Before the start of the 2022-23 season, Donovan signed a multiyear contract extension with the team, Bulls PR confirmed Tuesday afternoon (The Athletic first reported the news).

Donovan is currently in the third season of the four-year contract (which runs through 2023-24) that he signed with the team in September 2020, shortly after the then-new front office regime led by Artūras Karnišovas fired Jim Boylen. Their search initially centered on a handful of first-time coaching candidates before rapidly shifting gears to pursue Donovan after he and the Oklahoma City Thunder parted ways.

Since, Donovan has amassed an 86-88 regular season record, 1-4 in the playoffs. In his first season, the Bulls went 31-41 and missed the play-in tournament by two games after acquiring Nikola Vučević at the trade deadline. In Donovan's second season, he led an overhauled roster headlined by the additions of DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso to a 46-36 record and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

That marked franchise's first winning season since 2015-16 and first playoff berth since 2017. But the campaign ended in an unceremonious five-game defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.

The 2022-23 season is off to a disjointed 9-11 start, although the Bulls have already notched signature wins over the Boston Celtics (twice at home), Bucks and Miami Heat (both on the road) — competition they struggled badly against in 2021-22.

 

It remains to be seen how the final three quarters of this critical campaign will play out. But what's certain is Donovan has long-term job security.

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