Bulls Catch Heat From Fans After Making Latest Personnel Move

Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls

Getty Head coach Billy Donovan of the Chicago Bulls.

Following the revelation that Chicago Bulls general manager Marc Eversley received a multi-year contract extension, fans were fired up.

Eversley became a target of fans’ ire, with many questioning what his role is.

The Bulls took things a step further, though. Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas vowed to bring changes to the roster. But he has expressed confidence in his staff, including Eversley, and Head Coach Billy Donovan.

Donovan and Karnisovas have both received extensions in the past two years, and now the Bulls have hired the former’s son.

“The Chicago Bulls plan to hire Billy Donovan III – son of Billy Donovan – as head coach of their NBA G League Windy City Bulls team, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” The Atheltic’s Shams Charania reported on X on June 5. “Donovan III served as an assistant coach for San Antonio’s Austin Spurs affiliate in 2017.”

“NEPOTISM WINS AGAIN LETS GO BULLS (k*** me),” one fan responded in the comments.

Other fans pointed to the Bulls’ decision to keep Donovan around as the root problem. Donovan has a 156-162 record in four seasons at the helm for the Bulls. They have just one playoff appearance in that span.

“The Bulls extending Donovan in the first place is still hilarious to me,” a fan said.

Some fans even called for Donovan’s ouster, an unlikely outcome this offseason. Details of the coach’s contract have not been made public. But he remains in place, set for the 2024-25 season.

“it just gets worse and worse,” another fan posted. “GET BILLY OUT OF HERE.”

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reported in April that Donovan’s job was safe. This move would seem to be a signal to that effect. At the very least it appears to play into the overall retooling of Donovan’s staff in a critical offseason for the Bulls.

Billy Donovan’s Son Gets Promotion

The younger Donovan is not a new addition to the organization. But this is a promotion for the 32-year-old coach’s son.

“Donovan III will replace Henry Domercant, who has been the head coach of the G-League affiliate since 2021. His best season coaching came from the 2022-23 season when the team finished 18-13 in the regular season and 12-7 in the Showcase Cup,” NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson wrote on June 5. “Domercant could land on Billy Donovan’s coaching staff with the Bulls in the NBA, according to Bulls PR.

“Donovan III has started as an assistant coach with the Windy City Bulls this past season. Before joining the affiliate, he served as a video coordinator for the Chicago Bulls over the last two years.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhwXFoRnqtQ?si=Tq37TPs_vnx9iPmh&clip=Ugkxsm2lVQrtQx2iF5weS0obYEAoBsSq2Ie6&clipt=ELyAIxjI9iQ]

The report of Eversley’s contract extension included the length. That is a notable departure from Donovan and Karnisovas.

Both were inked to “multi-year” contracts with little else known abut the two pacts.

GM’s Extension Could Offer Insight Into Bulls FO’s Future

“Eversley, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation, recently signed a three-year contract that begins in July,” The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry wrote on June 4.

It is unlikely that Eversley’s extension would extend beyond that of his boss, Karnisovas.

Karnisovas’ job security is strong enough for these other transactions to occur. So there is a chance that his contract with the organization runs well beyond Eversley’s. Karnisovas’ predecessor – John Paxson – lasted 17 years.

Paxon’s tenure featured 11 trips to the postseason, though, including seven straight from 2008-09 to 20014-15.