By Cody Westerlund–
(CBS) In a notable addition to what’s traditionally been one of the league’s smaller front offices, the Bulls have hired Doug Collins as a senior advisor of basketball operations.
Collins coached the Bulls for three seasons, from 1986 to 1989 and has more than 40 years of experience in the NBA. He’ll report directly to executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson.
“Doug will be great in this capacity for our organization,” chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “The position of senior advisor has proven to work well around the NBA in recent years, and I am confident the same will hold true with the Bulls. The fact that our relationship goes back more than 30 years certainly helps, but he is especially qualified to assist our leadership in rebuilding the Bulls.”
The addition comes as the Bulls have embarked on a rebuild with the draft night trade of Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves in June. In recent years, Collins had served as a game analyst for ESPN. Now, he’ll be tasked with weighing in on important matters as the Bulls identify and develop talent in navigating a new path.
Collins will be introduced at a 3 p.m. press conference Tuesday at the Advocate Center.
“People who know me know the respect that I have for Jerry, Michael (Reinsdorf), and the Chicago Bulls organization,” Collins said in a statement. “I am looking forward to getting started and helping everyone. To be able to stay involved in the NBA and work with John, Gar (Forman), Fred (Hoiberg) and their respective staffs, while not having to leave my family and continuing to live in one of the greatest cities in the world — the fit couldn’t be any better for me at this point in my life.”
In addition to coaching the Bulls, Collins led the Pistons (1995-’98), the Wizards (2001-’03) and the 76ers (2010-’13). He’s long held a cordial relationship with Bulls ownership and management, and Paxson tried to hire him as coach in 2008 before the deal fell apart in the 11th hour. Collins had a 442-407 record (.521 winning percentage) as head coach.
“We are pleased to have Doug return to the Bulls and have him join our front office,” Paxson said in a statement. “As our organization transitions into this next phase, we feel like Doug will bring valuable perspective with his vast knowledge of the NBA and the game of basketball. His enthusiasm and expertise make this a great fit for the Bulls. As an advisor, he will regularly contribute observations, insights and suggestions, and he will be part of conversations throughout this building. I know from talking to Doug he is excited to join us at this time, and we look forward to tapping into his experience to help improve this team.”
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.