Change is Inevitable, But Arturas Karnisovas Says Rebuild is "Not On Our Minds"

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Arturas Karnisovas: A Rebuild Is “Not On Our Minds”

Chicago Bulls

Look, the fact of the matter is that the Chicago Bulls can’t run it back.

Despite Arturas Karnisovas trying to spin certain things into a positive during his end-of-season press conference on Saturday, he has to know that. Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, Derrick Jones Jr., Javonte Green, and Patrick Beverley are all headed toward free agency. DeMar DeRozan is going to be up for a contract extension that he undoubtedly deserves. Throw in that the Bulls finished 40-42 and 10th in the Eastern Conference, and change inside the walls of the United Center is inevitable.

What will that change be and how drastic will it look? Now, that’s a worthwhile question.

Karnisovas repeatedly reiterated that he will consider “everything” as the team enters the offseason. Well, everything except the idea of a full-blown rebuild.

“To be honest, we’ve shown so much improvement here and at any time I’m going to be open to pretty much anything. How to improve this roster. That’s been thrown around all this season. This “blow up, rebuild. It’s not on our minds,” Karnisovas said.

“I think the moment we changed our minds in the 2021 season to focus on winning and try to build a sustainable program here; I think that’s what we’re focused on now. How we can help this group and how can we improve from here. And that’s what our offseason goal will look like. We’re going to consider everything and how we can compete with the top teams.”

He’s right, ever since well before the trade deadline fans and opposing organizations alike were calling for the Bulls to throw in the towel. It was hard not to see that as the best outcome with so few assets in the front office’s back pockets. And it’s equally hard not to see that as a missed opportunity now that the Bulls have been bounced in the Play-In Tournament.

Having said that, I can always respect a win-now sense of urgency. The goal should always be to play competitive basketball. But where I struggle is seeing how the Bulls can do that in a convincing fashion without taking a step backward. Sure, I guess you don’t have to completely tear it down, but how confident is Karnisovas that he has the proper tools to reshape this team in just one summer? I know I’m not confident!

He singled out the need for more 3-point shooting, physicality, and offensive rebounding. We also heard him call out this team’s severe inconsistency. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and I am just not sure how he believes he can do that by maintaining a competitive balance. He also didn’t really outline that path for us in this final press conference.

Again, I don’t want to knock the organization for having the desire to win games. But the lack of a clear direction remains in the air. The Bulls are really in no place to rule out any specific path right now, including one as drastic as a rebuild.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.