Shawn Respert will not return as Bulls' director of player development


Whenever the Bulls reconvene, at least one member of the coaching staff will be elsewhere.

Shawn Respert, the respected player development coach, will not be retained when his contract ends following the 2019-20 season.

“I want to grow,” Respert said. “The Bulls gave me an opportunity, and I feel I outgrew it. I hope I left the organization in a better place. That’s all I tried to do.”

Players spanning from Zach LaVine to Denzel Valentine would agree. Respert, who has designs to be a head coach one day, furthered his reputation as a stoic but substantive sounding board for players during his three seasons with the Bulls.

In a sign that executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas is leaving coaching staff decisions to Jim Boylen for now, this was Boylen’s call. Boylen, who coached Respert at Michigan State, appreciated Respert’s commitment to player development but has five assistant coaches on staff.

Respert has a strong relationship with Karnisovas, with whom he worked at both the league office and in Houston. Karnisovas and new general manager Marc Eversley have both publicly stressed the desire to emphasize player development. But Respert’s future focus is advancing as a coach.

Hired in 2017 when Fred Hoiberg still served as coach and John Paxson served as executive vice president, Respert thanked both those people and the Reinsdorfs for his opportunity. He also said he plans to distribute a wide-ranging message of thanks to behind-the scenes people like security guards at the United Center and administrative staff at the Advocate Center.

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