Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen is reportedly already feeling the heat about his job security after the hiring of a new VP of basketball operations.
Let Chicago Bulls fans rejoice, at least partly, after the hire of Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas as the next executive vice president of basketball operations. Karnisovas should be set to become the new lead voice in the front office to replace vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman. Hopefully they will be ousted from this organization in general, not just reassigned to different roles.
Karnisovas was the general manager of the Nuggets since 2017. Prior to that, he was the Nuggets assistant general manager since 2013. He’s also been an international scout with the Houston Rockets, director of the Adidas Eurocamp, and started his front office career with the NBA’s exec group in the early 2000’s.
What’s next for Karnisovas is deciphering how he will piece together his coaching staff and front office from the top-down. There’s going to a lot of pressure on Karnisovas as far as where GarPax and head coach Jim Boylen are assigned from here. Boylen was already one of the most criticized head coaches in the NBA. And it seemed like he was more Paxson’s guy than anything.
With Paxson no longer running the show, there’s no guarantees that Boylen will be back next season. If the Bulls really want to push to right the ship immediately next season, they should conduct an actual head coaching search.
According to a report from Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times on April 9, Boylen is “already concerned that he will be ousted” after the hiring of Karnisovas on Wednesday night.
Here’s what else that piece from Cowley of the Sun-Times had to say.
"A source told the Sun-Times Thursday morning that Boylen is already concerned that he will be ousted, and was hoping to sit down with his new bosses to discuss his year-and-a-half on the job.Whether Boylen will get that opportunity is obviously yet to be decided, but even his biggest supporters — the Reinsdorfs — won’t be throwing a life preserver his way if Karnisovas wants to go in a different direction."
Boylen won less than 40 games over the course of around a season and a half as head coach of the Bulls. He took over as the interim head coach last season after the firing of Fred Hoiberg in December 2018. Boylen then received a pretty unwarranted three-year contract extension to have the interim tag removed last offseason.
Apparently the Reinsdorfs are still supporters of Boylen, but “won’t be throwing a life preserver his way if Karnisovas wants to go in a different direction”. That’s a good sign for the majority of the Bulls fan base that likely wants to see a new head coach in the Windy City next season.
The Bulls definitely have ample time to conduct a full-on coaching search this year. Boylen didn’t get this rebuild where it needed to go in its third year, and neither did GarPax. Hence why the Bulls entered the novel coronavirus pandemic-induced NBA season hiatus with a record of 22-43. They are once again one of the worst teams in the Central Division and Eastern Conference.
Karnisovas is the first shoe to drop in what will likely be a radical reshaping of the Bulls front office, coaching staff, and roster construction heading into the offseason. This will also be a vital NBA Draft for the Bulls to get right, whenever it arrives this year.