New executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas released a formal statement on Wednesday afternoon, welcoming both experienced executives to the organization.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Pat and JJ both bring valuable experience that will enhance our basketball operations department. I know that the skills these two possess will be an asset in building out our program. JJ’s expertise with cap management and negotiations will help us be creative in our deals and contracts, while Pat’s great eye for talent, global contacts and networking capabilities will organize our scouting department in a productive way. Combined, these two basketball minds will help increase functionality and implement our vision of moving this program forward.”
Up until this point, we knew the title each person would hold thanks to the already updated staff directory, but to reiterate – Polk will act as an assistant GM while Connelly will serve as the team’s vice president of player personnel. In addition, thanks to the release and the statement about, we’ve gotten more clarification on the role both are expected to have moving forward.
Known for his extensive cap knowledge, the Bulls say Polk will be responsible for “strategic planning and salary cap management,” while also assisting in all player personnel matters. As for Connelly, the former scout will (unsurprisingly) be in charge of the “structure and processes of the scouting department.” Cool. Two new leaders for two important areas.
Both can be viewed as “specialist” hires, and that certainty demonstrates a new direction for this front office. Prior to the Karnisovas takeover, the Bulls had a small staff where people wore a number of important hats. And with the amount of work that goes on behind-the-scenes in today’s league, that kind of operation just isn’t going to cut it.
Polk and Connelly are the first to be added to the front office supporting cast, but I’d expect many more new names to come into the mix over the next several months. Let the modernizing commence!
Check out the full official release here:
Welcome Pat Connelly and JJ Polk to Chicago!
Connelly joins as Vice President of Player Personnel. Polk joins as Assistant General Manager.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 6, 2020