Evaluating coaching staff may take Karnisovas some time
Technically, the NBA season is not over yet, so don't expect any major decisions right away from the Bulls' new director of basketball operations, Arturas Karnisovas.
His first order of business will most likely be hiring a general manager. The fate of John Paxson and Gar Forman appears to be on the same trajectory that's been speculated for a few months -- Paxson will slide into an advisory role, while Forman is probably headed elsewhere.
Yahoo sports reported that Karnisovas intends to hire a person of color to serve as Bulls general manager. The Bulls took some heat for interviewing five white candidates for basketball operations position, though Yahoo's Vince Goodwill reported the Bulls asked permission to interview Oklahoma City vice president of basketball operations Troy Weaver, an African American, but were denied.
Karnisovas figures to restructure the Bulls' scouting and player development departments. That process will evolve over the next several weeks or months.
As far as the coaches, there appears to be support for using next season to evaluate head coach Jim Boylen and his staff.
Keep in mind, the Bulls went to a lot of trouble last summer to bring in new assistants Chris Fleming from Brooklyn and Roy Rogers from Houston. Both of those guys, as well as Boylen, have long-term contracts. The Bulls ownership team of Michael and Jerry Reinsdorf might prefer to make this summer about front office changes.
Of course, Karnisovas should have the most prominent voice in deciding who coaches the team. A source confirmed there had been some contact between Karnisovas and Boylen as of Thursday afternoon.
Plenty of arguments could be made either way on Boylen's performance. He's a first-time NBA head coach who is learning on the job. At the same time, he was dealing with an extremely flawed roster that was short on experienced and healthy players.
Some of the positives from this season were the Bulls becoming a top-10 defensive team until injuries knocked out the two best defenders, Kris Dunn and Wendell Carter Jr. Zach LaVine had his best NBA season, while rookie Coby White made impressive progress.
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