The Denver Nuggets may be in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, but Denver is also making noise in the Windy City.
The Chicago Bulls currently have Denver Nuggets assistant coach, Wes Unseld Jr. pegged as the favorite to land the job as the next head coach of the Bulls.
“It’d be hard not to hire him,” a league source shared with me this evening.
“He’s been around a long time.”
Indeed he has.
Unseld Jr. is a lifelong member of the NBA community. In addition to his father, Wes Unseld Sr. being a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA Champion with the Baltimore Bullets, Unseld Jr. is accomplished in his own right.
A native of Catonsville, MD, Unseld Jr. has done tours of duties as an NBA assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.
In high school, Unseld Jr played high school basketball at Loyola High School in Towson, Maryland where he was the team’s starting center standing at 6’3. Unseld Jr. played collegiately at Johns Hopkins University, a Division III school in Baltimore, MD.
The Bulls recently fired Jim Boylen as head coach. Boylen accepted the coaching job December 2018 and compiled a 39-84 record.
Chicago didn’t make an NBA Playoffs appearance during his tenure.
While Unseld Jr. is current the favorite, the Bulls have considered other coaches following Jim Boylen’s departure.
The team has also considered former Brooklyn Nets head coach, Kenny Atkinson, Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin and Minnesota Timberwolves associate head coach David Vanterpool as candidates.
“For a young team its the right personality and the right fit,” one Bulls fixture told me.
“You gotta have a coach that understands the development of players, while also relating to players. The Bulls are expected to make it to the NBA Playoffs this year and they are a team that should have same trajectory like the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns. You look at Brooklyn [Nets] and the Wizards and they’re in the .500 range, there’s no reason that the Bulls shouldn’t have been there this season and in the bubble in Orlando.”
The Bulls have a host of young talent on their team that includes Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr.,Thaddeus Young, Otto Porter Jr., Tomas Satoransky, Chandler Hutchison, Ryan Arcidiacono, Denzel Valentine, Coby White and Zach LaVine.
LaVine is the face of the Bulls. Through 60 games this season, LaVine averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.
Injuries weren’t haven’t kind to the Bulls this season. Chicago finished with an eleventh place finish and a 22-43 record.