The Chicago Bulls hired Billy Donovan as their new coach Tuesday, landing one of the biggest names available on the coaching market to fill their vacancy.
Donovan, 55, spent the past five seasons as Oklahoma City Thunder coach, going 243-157 (.608) and guiding the team to the playoffs all five years, including a Western Conference finals appearance in his first season.
In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year this season, the Thunder exceeded expectations and made the playoffs before losing in Game 7 of the first round against Houston. It was their fourth consecutive first-round exit under Donovan.
The Thunder and Donovan, who won two NCAA championships as Florida's coach, could not agree on a new contract after the season and mutually parted ways as the team heads toward a potential rebuild.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that his "best guess" is that next season will not start until at least January, plus acknowledged that the later-than-usual schedule could mean top U.S. men's players miss next summer's Tokyo Olympics.
Silver, a guest in a series of panel discussions on CNN, did not indicate that any decisions are finalized. The league was originally hoping for a Dec. 1 start to next season, then shifted its focus to the chance of a late December start, and now the target has apparently moved again.