/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

Billy Donovan won't have to wait long to return to Oklahoma City. And Bulls fans won't have to wait long for game action, albeit of the preseason variety.

With training camps scheduled to open next week, the NBA announced its preseason schedule Friday.

In a nod to some of the scheduling quirks that will result from the global pandemic uprooting normalcy, the Bulls will play James Harden, Russell Westbrook and company in back-to-back games at the United Center on Dec. 11 and 13.

The Bulls then conclude their preseason schedule by traveling to Oklahoma City to face the new-look Thunder on Dec. 16 and 18. Donovan, of course, coached the Thunder for five seasons before an amicable departure that led to the Bulls' new management team aggressively pursuing him.

Oklahoma City is one of the select teams that has announced it allow a limited number of fans to attend games. Though the Bulls haven't officially announced their protocols, Illinois and Chicago recently moved to more stringent restrictions as coronavirus cases intensified. The Bears, Cubs and White Sox didn't allow fans.

The NBA said it will release "in the coming days" the first half of the regular-season schedule that tips off Dec. 22. The second half of the regular-season schedule will be released in the later portion of the first-half schedule.

Teams are preparing for training camps by quarantining in advance of individual workouts, with the first team practice likely on Dec. 5 or at some point later next week. But in two weeks, preseason basketball---featuring first-round pick Patrick Williams---will be here. And it will mark the Bulls' first game since mid-March because they didn't qualify for the NBA's restart to conclude the 2019-20 season.