Time to celebrate: Chicago Bulls hire Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas

Arturas Karnisovas, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Arturas Karnisovas, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

The time to rejoice for the Chicago Bulls fan base has officially arrived with the hiring of former Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for a long, long time has arrived. The Chicago Bulls have finally made the move to bring in a new voice into the front office to move vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman out of their current roles. But they aren’t officially gone as of yet. Former Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas is reportedly (ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski) set to become the next lead executive for the Bulls.

While it is time to celebrate that the Bulls hired someone to replace GarPax, those two aren’t gone yet and there’s still a reason to be skeptical. Most of the more avid Bulls fans will be lying in wait to see what the Reinsdorfs do about Paxson and Forman from here on out.

For now, this is still a milestone worth celebrating in the third year of a collapsing rebuild. The Bulls get the former Nuggets general manager that helped take them to new heights over the course of the last five years in the Western Conference. Karnisovas helped build a contender in the Mile High City, behind the likes of seven-foot center Nikola Jokic and combo guard Jamal Murray.

Furthermore, this Woj bomb came late in the night on April 8 and shook the Bulls landscape as we know it. Most fans didn’t expect the Bulls to move this quickly to reshape their front office. The common school of thought was that the Bulls would give it until the upcoming offseason to officially make this change.

The official title for Karnisovas will be executive vice president of basketball operations, essentially the same role that Paxson held beforehand. He is apparently tasked with building a new front office staff and hiring a new general manager (which is a role that Forman now previously held).

A follow-up Woj tweet to the original report stated that the Bulls offered the job to Karnisovas earlier in the evening on April 8. The details were worked out deeper into the night on the same day.

Karnisovas was the Nuggets general manager since July 2017. He originally joined the Nuggets front office in 2013, as the assistant general manager, and was then promoted four years later. If the Nuggets reached at least 55 wins this season, then it would’ve been five straight years that the Nuggets improved their win total while Karnisovas was at the helm.

This is the type of presence that the Bulls need for this rebuild that is heading nowhere thanks to GarPax. The major shakeup could be now officially started, but a lot of the attention will turn to the status of head coach Jim Boylen.

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A lot of the Bulls fan base is going to watch Karnisovas to get Paxson, Forman, Boylen, and Doug Collins out the door completely. Given the lack of success so far with them intertwined in the front office and coaching staff, letting all of them go would be a move that makes a lot of sense.