The Chicago Bulls are reportedly interested in Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin becoming their next head coach, but how likely is this?
With the NBA officially revealing their plan to resume play, the Toronto Raptors can now start preparing their plans to retain the NBA championship they won last season. However, it’s possible at least one member of the coaching staff who masterminded the championship victory will not be back in 2020-21.
As originally reported by Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Bulls are on the lookout for their next head coach. According to Cowley, one of the Bulls’ main candidates is Raptors’ assistant Adrian Griffin.
The Bulls are one of the eight teams who won’t be returning to action when the 2019-20 season resumes. As a result, this means current Chicago head coach Jim Boylen has not made the playoffs during his two seasons in changes and the team is expected to fire him.
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Assuming Cowley’s report is true, you can appreciate why the Bulls would be interested in Griffin. He was considered a key component in helping the Raptors win their first NBA title last season.
The 40-year-old has continued to exert his influence alongside head coach Nick Nurse this season. As a result, he helped the Raptors continue to perform at a high level and compile the NBA’s third-best record prior to games being suspended.
What surprised many this season was how consistently the Raptors were able to win, despite on ongoing barrage of injuries to key players which would have broken most other teams. However, the team’s ability to overcome adversity and fight back mirrors the mental fortitude Griffin is renowned for.
The Wichita, Kansas native also places a significant importance on discipline and defence, with the team embracing these philosophies. This is no surprise, when you consider these were the hallmarks of his nine-year playing career in the NBA.
The results have been extremely impressive for the Raptors in 2019-20. Prior to the season being suspended, they had the second-best defensive rating in the league and led the entire NBA in fewest average points allowed per game.
This is Griffin’s 12th season as an assistant coach in the NBA and second with the Raptors, who he joined as part of Nurse’s staff when he took over as head coach. Griffin coached under Tom Thibodeau for five seasons in Chicago, so the Bulls have some familiarity with him.
The question is, how realistic is it to expect Griffin to actually become the Bulls’ new head coach? Boylen has already shown that experience as part of NBA-champion coaching staffs doesn’t necessarily translate to having your own success as the main man.
This doesn’t mean that Griffin wouldn’t succeed with the Bulls; he has a lot of the attributes you look for in an NBA head coach. However, as per Cowley’s report, Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka is the front-runner to take over in Chicago.
Overall, the Bulls having interest in Griffin makes perfect sense, but it also alludes to the team just performing their due diligence. At the end of the day, the former guard/small forward is unlikely to be taking over in Chicago as their new head coach.
How influential do you believe Griffin has been to the Toronto Raptors’ success? Do you predict he will become the Bulls’ new head coach next season, remain in Southern Ontario or end up somewhere else? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.