Bulls ready to begin coaching search, but there's no hurry
Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas spent four months deciding whether or not to keep Jim Boylen.
How long will it take him to hire a new head coach for the Bulls?
Well, there's no real hurry. NBA training camps aren't going to start until November at the earliest. The NBA may have an agreement soon about summer minicamps for the eight teams that weren't invited to the Orlando bubble, but top assistants Chris Fleming and Roy Rogers, who are staying on board for now, could handle that.
The draft lottery is coming up Thursday, but the NBA draft isn't until Oct. 16.
"There's no deadline, no timeline on it," Karnisovas told reporters in a Zoom call Friday. "I think again, we live in very strange times. We're going to do our diligence and going to start the search as of today."
A slow process makes sense. This is a chance for Bulls management to reach out to rising stars of the coaching ranks and get to know them better. Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley might as well make a long list.
Some candidates who figure to get a look are former Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson, Toronto assistant and former Bulls player Adrian Griffin, Denver assistant Wes Unseld Jr., Philadelphia assistant Ime Udoka, along with Milwaukee's Charles Lee and Darvin Ham.
Karnisovas and Griffin were college teammates at Seton Hall. During a recent Raptors game in the Orlando bubble, head coach Nick Nurse stepped aside and let Griffin coach a game, a win over the 76ers on Wednesday.
Karnisovas was hired away from the Nuggets, Eversley from Philadelphia, so they're obviously most familiar with candidates they used to work with.
Karnisovas also has deep ties with the international community, so he may have some outside-the-box candidates in mind. Some NBA observers believe Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is ready to be the league's first female head coach.
"In terms of what we're going to be looking for, we're going to continue focusing on player development and an emphasis on player development, someone who puts relationships with players first and is a good communicator," Karnisovas said.
Thanks to some bad contracts that run for one more season, it will be tough for Karnisovas to make any significant changes to the roster this summer. So a coach that can deal with a few more struggles may also be needed.