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Assessing the Coaches at the Chicago Bulls for 2020-21

| December 6, 2020 5:23 am PDT
Chicago Bulls Coaching Staff Analysis 2020-21 NBA Season

The Chicago Bulls didn’t get the results they wanted out of Jim Boylen and decided to let him go this offseason. They ended their search for a new head coach by hiring Billy Donovan, with clear intentions of turning a talented roster into a winner.

On paper, Donovan is the guy to finally get the job done. Chicago hasn’t been a consistent winner for some time, and they’ve yet to return to the NBA Finals since Michael Jordan retired.

Whether Donovan is the man to accomplish that or not remains to be seen, but the Bulls do seem to have an upgraded coaching staff going into the 2020-21 NBA season.

While Chicago isn’t expected to do much when you look at their betting odds at the best sports betting websites, Donovan’s presence could still mean good things.

Let’s see what Bulls fans can expect with my Chicago Bulls coaching staff analysis for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Billy Donovan – Head Coach

On the surface, Billy Donovan is a brilliant hire, and there’s reason to believe he can make this team better right away. Chicago has tried it just about every way in recent years, but they got a tried and true winner.

Donovan proved that he could make just about anything work in his most recent work with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He fielded very good teams with the help of Russell Westbrook for years in OKC, but it wasn’t until last year – when he led a Thunder team crippled by a Westbrook trade – to the playoffs.

The Thunder should have completely caved, but Donovan willed them to compete, and his ability to get the most out of his players – as well as develop them – will be the key to unlocking Chicago’s future.

Donovan has already been vocal about some of Chicago’s best players demanding more of themselves, and it starts with big man Lauri Markkanen being a more aggressive and versatile scorer.

This is just the start, of course. Donovan has an impressive history of building winners, as he was extremely successful at Florida (won two national titles), and he helped OKC get to the Western Conference Finals in his first year on the job.

The question with Donovan, of course, will be if he can power through once/if the Bulls plateau, just like his OKC squad did during his time with the Thunder.

Chicago Bulls’ Assistant Coaches

  • Maurice Cheeks
  • Josh Longstaff
  • John Bryant
  • Damian Cotter
  • Billy Schmidt

There is a new sheriff in town, and Donovan brings along a pretty impressive coaching staff. It was announced on November 14th that he’d have a coaching staff led by former NBA head coach Maurice Cheeks.

Cheeks is easily the biggest name of the Chicago Bulls coaching staff outside of Donovan this year. The former NBA player has a long history of coaching in The Association and was also a successful head coach with the Blazers and 76ers.

Cheeks led his team to the playoffs three times and has been in the coaching circuit since 1993. He was part of Donovan’s staff in Oklahoma City, and the former champion and Hall of Famer is a strong presence to have on the sidelines.

He’ll be joined by rising assistant Josh Longstaff, who has been coaching in the NBA since 2010.

The 38-year old spent the past two seasons helping the Milwaukee Bucks reach new heights, and it appears he could be a valuable piece of this new staff.

John Bryant got his start with the Delaware 87ers back in 2014 and most recently aided the Philadelphia 76ers on the bench. Bryant’s ability to contribute to a regular winner with a quality offense is intriguing.

Damian Cotter and Billy Schmidt are two more relative unknowns but figure to be sound additions to the 2020-21 Chicago Bulls coaching staff.

Cotter has an extensive coaching background overseas, as he’s had a hand in the development of Australian teams for national competition. He even won Coach of the Year from the NSW Sports Federation in 2009 and was nominated two other times.

He’s been active since 2000 with numerous stops, with his most recent being as head coach with the Windy City Bulls.

Schmidt wraps up a pretty strong Bulls coaching staff. Schmidt has worked under Billy Donovan his entire career, starting with work as an assistant in Donovan’s final season at Florida, and branching into Donovan’s stay with the Thunder.


When looking at the Chicago Bulls coaching staff for the 2020-21 NBA season, this is a very eclectic group of bright and experienced minds.

Donovan’s Thunder teams tended to be very strong defensively, and most of the coaches he’s bringing in know how important it is to set the tone on that end of the floor.

Cheeks and Cotter specifically offer championship-winning experience, and this staff as a whole should set the tone early for a young Bulls roster.

The idea here is for Chicago to lose a grip on the solid defense they played a year ago and for their offense to be a bit more cohesive and consistent.

If the two sides can mesh well, Donovan’s ability to adjust during the game and pave a path for players to execute in the clutch could elevate this team considerably in 2020-21 and beyond.

While this is a look at the Bulls coaching staff for this coming season, there’s so much more to consider. Check out some of our other 2020-21 NBA coaching staff previews below.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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