Bulls

Bulls finalize coaching, player development staffs

Bulls

The Bulls finalized Billy Donovan’s inaugural coaching staff and announced four hires in the player development department Saturday morning.

Joining the team as assistant coaches are Maurice Cheeks, Josh Longstaff, former Philadelphia 76ers assistant John Bryant, former Windy City Bulls head coach Damian Cotter and former Oklahoma City Thunder director of quality control Billy Schmidt (who also worked the 2014-15 NCAA season as Donovan’s lead assistant at Florida). 

Chris Fleming, who came aboard as Jim Boylen’s lead assistant before the 2019-20 season, will remain on staff, a Bulls spokesperson confirmed. Fleming is entering the second of a three-year contract.

Coming on as player development coordinators are Henry Domercant, Ronnie Burrell, Ty Abbott and Max Rothschild. Domercant, a Chicagoland native, has followed up a 12-year playing career that spanned Europe and the G League with assistant coaching stints with the Maine Red Claws (2017-18) and the Windy City Bulls (2018-2020); Burrell served as an assistant coach for the Long Island Nets last season  after working as a player development and video assistant for the Brooklyn Nets in 2018-19; Abbott previously worked in player development for the 76ers (2019-20) and Delaware Blue Coats (2018-19); and Rothschild was a player development associate for the 76ers last season.

In his first comments to reporters following his hiring as general manager, Marc Eversley stressed player development as a “tremendous focus” for the organization moving forward.

 

“One of my mottos is ‘players first.’ I think you have to create a players-first mentality,” he said. “We were the second-youngest team in the NBA last year, and I really believe it starts with a foundation of player development. True player development, that’s really when we can see what kind of players we have on our roster.

“I was surprised to find that there was one player development coach on the staff as I was doing my research for this job. That’s a helluva job for one person to take on. It's gonna be one of my tenets to try and figure out our player development system. You know, there's a lot of key areas within it. Skill development, physical development, mental enhancement. But with that, you need to hire people to help support that, so we're going to do a pretty diligent job in terms of looking for the proper staff to bring in here to work with our young guys.”

The staff finalization comes with the 2020-21 campaign just around the corner. The NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18, free agency opens Nov. 20 (signings can become official Nov. 22), training camps begin Dec. 1 and the season is scheduled to tip off Dec. 22.

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