On Thursday afternoon, the Chicago Bulls announced a slew of moves to the team’s front office, from both an NBA and G League perspective. For the big league squad, the team stated that former Grizzlies assistant coach Shawn Respert would be named as the team’s Director of Player Development. Meanwhile, former Windy City Bulls head coach Nate Loenser would be promoted to join Fred Hoiberg’s coaching staff after spending only one season in the G League. In response to Loenser’s promotion, the organization noted that Chicago assistant coach Charlie Henry will be relocated to become the new head coach for Windy City.
Henry’s move to the G League comes after he spent the prior two seasons as an assistant coach under Fred Hoiberg. His association with Hoiberg actually goes back to when the current Bulls head coach was leading Iowa State. Starting as a graduate assistant during the 2012-13 season, Henry was able to make steady year-by-year progressions as he was director of player development in 2013-14 and an assistant coach in 2014-15.
As might already be evident, this will be Henry’s first season since 2011-12 where he wasn’t situated alongside Hoiberg. While he’ll be utilizing most of his on-court game plan in Windy City, this will be a true opportunity for Henry to show if he was it takes to take control of a team’s day-by-day operations. From calling his own timeouts, making his own rotations and calling his own plays on the fly, Henry will have unique level of responsibility that he’s never previously experienced.
Coinciding with those tasks, Henry will also be asked to help develop Antonio Blakeney, into a future contributor with the Chicago Bulls. Currently, Blakeney is under a two-way deal with the Bulls after not getting selected in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Although Blakeney has shined as a terrific scorer, whether he’s at LSU or in Summer League, he’ll need to improve his work as a facilitator, defense and shot selection before he’s ready to take that next step. Hopefully for the Bulls organization, Henry’s tutelage can help push Blakeney to make those improvements.