The Chicago Bulls have undergone a major front office overhaul in 2020. First, they replaced longtime general manager Gar Forman with Marc Eversley last month, while making John Paxson their new senior advisor of basketball operations. Shortly after those moves, the Bulls hired former Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas as their new executive vice president of basketball operations. They also hired JJ Polk for their assistant GM role, and Pat Connelly as the new vice president of player personnel.
Now, head coach appears to be the next change for the franchise. Their newly-installed front office is leaning toward replacing current head coach Jim Boylen with a fresh face, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. Boylen, who was promoted to the role of head coach following the dismissal of Fred Hoiberg in December of 2018, hasn’t necessarily done himself any favors on the sideline. He has compiled an underwhelming 39-84 record since taking over the position, and he has struggled to win the support of his players.
Meanwhile, according to a source, Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls’ new head of basketball operations, and new general manager Marc Eversley have already had detailed discussions with players and retained front-office personnel — and are getting enough mixed feedback about the last year that they’re said to be leaning toward starting fresh with a new coach once the NBA decides how to resolve this season.
The arguments for keeping Boylen are that he cares about the organization, that several players have spoken very favorably about him and that he carried out what the previous front office wanted this season, even with a mostly injured roster. But two things might sink Boylen. First, according to a source, several key players ripped Boylen to the new front office. And there’s also the elephant in the room of a 39-84 (.317) record since Boylen took over from Fred Hoiberg in December 2018.
The current suspended state of the season has delayed the process of personnel evaluation for teams that would have been eliminated from contention at this point in time, including the Bulls. If the season weren’t suspended, Boylen may have already been shown the door.
“My initial impression of Jim is he cares a great deal about this team and he’s as anxious as everyone else to get back in the gym,” Karnisovas said recently. “I’m going to do my comprehensive evaluation of every department and ensure I give the process the time it deserves. We are limited right now with what we can do [because of the coronavirus shutdown].”
The fact that Chicago’s new regime might look to bring in its own head coach isn’t super surprising, as that is often the case when a new front office is installed — especially when the organization hasn’t experienced much recent success.