Billy Donovan

Bulls, Billy Donovan targeting assistant coaching hires

Josh Longstaff to join Charlotte's staff, creating another vacancy

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Bulls' efforts to reshape their assistant coaching staff will intensify this week with the NBA descending upon Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine.

Coach Billy Donovan is seeking a lead assistant with previous head coaching experience, league sources said.

Donovan's lead assistant will replace Chris Fleming, who was let go late last month. The Bulls now have another vacancy to fill since Josh Longstaff is leaving to join Charles Lee's first staff in Charlotte, according to league sources.

Longstaff, who also weighed an opportunity to join Mike Budenholzer's staff in Phoenix, worked with Lee in Milwaukee.

When Fleming and the Bulls parted ways, one source suggested that Longstaff would be under consideration for Donovan's lead assistant role. However, Donovan is targeting a lead assistant who has previous head coaching experience, sources said.

Between that, Longstaff's longstanding relationship with Lee and the opportunity to work with a young, developing roster with long-term contract security in Charlotte, Longstaff chose to leave the Bulls.

Donovan's longtime right-hand man on the bench, Maurice Cheeks, already informed Donovan last month that he plans to take a lesser role next season. Cheeks has previous head coaching experience with Portland and Philadelphia, so Donovan is targeting the same for his lead assistant coaching hire.

When Fleming's news broke last month, the Bulls confirmed that assistant coach John Bryant would move from a behind-the-bench role to being by Donovan's side on his reshaped staff.

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