Necessary front office changes for the Chicago Bulls could be starting in process already as the novel coronavirus-induced NBA hiatus continues.
One of the biggest faults of the Chicago Bulls over the course of the three years of this rebuild so far is the poor job that the front office did of constructing this roster and coaching staff. The Bulls looked to have whiffed on two straight head coaching hires. And it appears that vice president of basketball operations John Paxson had the fault of picking current head coach Jim Boylen while general manager Gar Forman had the fault of picking former head coach Fred Hoiberg.
The GarPax front office regime is now coming under more fire than ever. When the Bulls hosted NBA All-Star Weekend at the United Center in Chicago earlier this year, a running joke was how bad this team was under GarPax’s direction.
Really the only thing that could cause Bulls fans to look away from the problems that GarPax had mounting for this team and this rebuild is a massive exterior distraction. And that’s exactly what was delivered in the midst of this novel coronavirus pandemic. But the pressure of GarPax shouldn’t sway once basketball action gets back up and running again.
According to a radio/podcast interview with NBC Sports Chicago Bulls reporter K.C. Johnson on 670 The Score this week, the Bulls are still looking at potential front office changes despite the COVID-19 outbreak taking over the news cycle right now.
Here’s just a bit of what Johnson had to say on that show this week.
"The wheels were in motion enough not for there not to be change. How it gets done now is the point I was trying to make, it’s just different now. Michael has been doing his due diligence, he been seeking input from a wide variety of candidates and a wide variety of people."
This really seems to be up to Michael Reinsdorf to make the necessary changes to shift the Bulls fortunes heading into the fourth year of the rebuild. Jerry Reinsdorf is likely to pass the reigns to Michael soon enough, and he needs to make the necessary sweeping changes to save face for this franchise.
For all intents and purposes, it does appear that the Bulls season is over no matter what happens once the NBA hiatus is up. They did at least round out their initial run this season, in the 65th game, with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at home on March 10. That five-point win over the Cavaliers was the last game that the Bulls played in prior to the NBA hiatus.
The Bulls capped their first 65 games of the third year of the rebuild with a record of 22-43. They sat well outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference prior to the hiatus, and there’s not enough season left to make a true difference once this team returns to greater health.
Moreover, injuries weren’t as big of an excuse this year as they were in year’s past. The Bulls were a mostly healthy team throughout the first half of the season, but Boylen wasn’t able to capitalize on that opportunity. Any team with a winning record that they encountered this season (outside of two very narrow wins over the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers) resulted in losses.
There are pieces in place that could still provide for a bright future for this Bulls rebuild. But something needs to give soon or else rookie point guard Coby White, shooting guard Zach LaVine, center Wendell Carter Jr., etc. will watch their talents go to waste in the Windy City.
The next focus for this Bulls organization should be to find direction for their plan for the 2020 NBA Draft and where the rebuild goes from here. Making the necessary changes to right the ship for this rebuild starts from the top-down. That includes letting go of GarPax and finding fresh faces to run this franchise.