The opinion that Chicago Bulls combo guard Tomas Satoransky holds for head coach Jim Boylen seems to be too nice for how it should be.
A big looming question during the NBA hiatus for the Chicago Bulls has to do with whether there will be any changes to the front office or coaching staff heading into whenever the offseason starts. The Bulls have one of the least popular head coaches in the NBA at the moment, with Jim Boylen at the helm, and an infamously bad front office pairing with vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman.
However, GarPax has to be something that is switched up this offseason. Getting rid of Boylen should be up to whatever new front office regime makes its way to the Windy City. Boylen is a problem for this Bulls team, but he isn’t the biggest issue. The root of the problem somewhat stems all the way up to the Reinsdorfs, and it’s definitely caused by the poor roster construction by GarPax.
This Bulls rebuild doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in its third year. The Bulls are about on pace to win the same number of games this season that they did in the first year of the rebuild. Heading into the NBA hiatus, the Bulls held a record of 22-43. Their last game came on March 10 at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and resulted in a win by the final score of 108-103.
The opinion that the Bulls players have on Boylen also looks to be mixed at this point. Boylen definitely shouldn’t command the most respect of any NBA head coach. But combo guard Tomas Satoransky didn’t have completely bad words for Boylen in a quote taken by a Czech Bulls basketball reporter on Twitter on March 26.
In a quote from Sato, apparently the Bulls expect that “Jimbo” will be returning next season. That isn’t great news for the impending changes that so much of this fan base wants to see made whenever the offseason begins.
You’d figure that Sato would be one of the Bulls players that has the lowest opinion of Boylen. Or that is true at least from an outsider point of view. The Bulls didn’t get the best results out of their three major 2019 offseason free agent signings. Veteran forward Thaddeus Young was almost traded at the 2020 deadline, center Luke Kornet is having his worst season in the NBA to date, and Sato was benched for rookie Coby White in the Bulls last game prior to the hiatus.
Sato played in all 65 Bulls games so far this season prior to the hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He averaged 9.9 points per game, 3.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.2 steals, while shooting 43.0 percent from the field, 32.2 percent from beyond the arc, and 87.6 percent from the charity stripe.
The true shooting percentage, box plus/minus rating, win shares per 48 minutes, and total number of win shares, are all now down for Sato this season compared to last. Considering this was supposed to be his breakout season in a new starting role, the fact that he’s statistically regressing compared to his years with the Washington Wizards isn’t a good sign for Sato.
But not all the blame should fall on Sato’s shoulders. And while it shouldn’t all fall on Boylen either, the Bulls are not allowing Sato to get enough open shots or allowing him to be as aggressive as he could be when he has the ball on the perimeter. Sato is a legit driving threat, and he’s got a good shooting strike when he shoots off the dribble. He should be encouraged to use that special part of his skill set, along with his length at 6-foot-7, more often than he did prior to the hiatus.
Boylen could be widely considered the worst head coach in the NBA at the moment. The NBA head coach rankings that John Hollinger and Nate Duncan did on their podcast “The Hollinger & Duncan NBA Show” saw Boylen ranked dead last. That is a good indication of the opinion that most NBA fans and media holds for Boylen this season.