The Chicago Bulls did it. I mean, arguably a decade or so too late, but they finally did it!
Late last night, it was announced that (now former) Nuggets General Manager Arturas Karnisovas would become the Bulls next executive vice president of basketball operations. The Reinsdorfs finally reached outside their in-house network to hire the right man for the job, and while this is an incredibly exciting step in the right direction for this franchise, there are still plenty of loose-ends to tie up.
And moving forward, that will be Karnisovas’ job. Throughout this process, it’s been clear that the new hire will have complete authority over all basketball operations. With that in mind, hiring a new GM is likely next on the to-do list. Following that, improvements to the scouting, player development, and analytics department should follow. And somewhere in the midst all of that will be the coaching staff.
With a new man now at the helm of the Bulls organization, we have reason to believe Jim Boylen will soon be shown the door. Not only is it best for a new front-office leader to hire his or her own head coach, but Boylen’s performance has become intertwined with the negative perception of this organization. Firing him isn’t just a strategically sound move on a game-to-game basis (though that should help), it also coincides with the Bulls plan for a fresh start.
And according to the Sun-Times, Boylen might very well understand that:
A source told the Sun-Times Thursday morning that Boylen is already concerned that he will be ousted, and was hoping to sit down with his new bosses and discuss his year-and-a-half on the job.
Sit down all you want, Jim. Your resume speaks louder than words.
And also, some of your players’ words speak loudly too:
"Lauri Markkanen loves Chicago, loves playing here but he doesn't like playing for Jim Boylen."
– @thekapman on ESPN 1000
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) April 8, 2020
When one of the most important players on the roster seemingly wants out because of you, I think your time is probably up.
The once-respected assistance has just been in a downward spiral ever since he was handed a head coach gig. Since his start with the Bulls, he’s gone 39-84, and before this season came to an abrupt stop, he was on the verge of matching the same win total as Year 1 of the rebuild.
The fact that this season could still resume is what makes this situation all the more strange. Would Karnisovas consider keeping him until the season officially ends? In general, I’ll just be interested to see whether or not Karnisovas even sits down with Boylen to hear him out, or instead, he simply tells him to take a hike (I’m assuming it’d be said nicer than that though).
Paxson supposedly no longer has his hands in any of the decision-making, and the Reinsdorfs are reportedly fully committed to letting Karnisovas take the lead, so the days of sticking up for Boylen should be coming to an end.
Considering the Bulls have struggled to have a respectable presence behind-the-scenes and on the court, I’m incredibly excited for a potential full-fledged coaching search. Let’s get this thing right!