Billy Donovan

Bulls to hire Wes Unseld Jr. to Billy Donovan's staff

Former Wizards coach worked with Artūras Karnišovas in Denver

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After the Chicago Bulls and lead assistant coach Chris Fleming parted ways, NBC Sports Chicago reported that coach Billy Donovan sought a replacement with head coaching experience.

It's about to happen.

The team's public relations staff confirmed ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski's initial report that Donovan and the Bulls are set to add Wes Unseld Jr. as a top assistant coach. Not only did Unseld Jr. spend the last two-and-a-half seasons as the Washington Wizards head coach, he worked six seasons with Artūras Karnišovas in Denver when he served as Michael Malone's assistant.

In fact, Unseld Jr. was under strong consideration to replace Jim Boylen in 2020 when Karnišovas took over as executive vice president before Donovan became available.

Donovan had preliminary conversations with other veteran coaches with head coaching experience before reaching a verbal agreement with Unseld Jr. And those talks about expected to lead to another high-profile hire beyond Unseld Jr. That hire could serve as co-lead assistant coaches with Unseld Jr.

The Bulls' staff is in flux. Josh Longstaff recently left for a position on Charles Lee's staff in Charlotte. Maurice Cheeks has voluntarily stepped into a smaller role that may involve less travel. And John Bryant is moving from the back to the front bench.

Karnišovas also recently parted ways with longtime Director of Performance Health Chip Schaefer as he weighs potential more changes to the training and performance staffs. According to sources, Karnišovas also could reshape the player development coaching staff.

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