Chicago Bulls Hire Philadelphia 76ers HC Candidate Billy Donovan

Justin Grasso

After searching long and hard for a new head coach, the Chicago Bulls have ended their quest on Tuesday as they've announced the hiring of Billy Donovan. Just a couple of weeks back, Donovan and the Oklahoma City Thunder departed mutually after the Thunder were bounced out of the first round of the playoffs.

Once Donovan became available, he was quickly linked to the Philadelphia 76ers as they ended the seven-year Brett Brown era last month. Earlier this week, it was reported the former Thunder head coach was one of three notable candidates for Sixers, who was looking to get an interview sometime in the coming weeks.

But Donovan's mind is made up at this point. Now, the Sixers' head coaching search could be narrowed down to just two candidates in former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Anotni and Los Angeles Clippers assistant, Tyronn Lue.

The hiring of Donovan not only takes the former Thunder head coach off of the Sixers' radar, but it also leaves assistant coach Ime Udoka on the staff for now. Udoka, who came to Philly for the 2019-2020 season from the San Antonio Spurs staff, joined the 76ers as Brett Brown's top assistant. 

Considering his experience over the years under Greg Popovich and Brett Brown, Udoka began garnering attention from franchises with head coaching vacancies over the last few months, including the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, and the Bulls jobs. Although Udoka left a strong impressing on the Bulls after his interview, the franchise decided to roll with somebody who has head coaching experience.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_