Bulls Notes: Front Office, Gasol, Mirotic

All indications are Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf remains confident in the front office duo of GM Gar Forman and executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson, writes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com, who calls for them to make changes to the roster with the deadline less than a week away. Forman has reportedly signaled that he’s concerned about his future, but it’s instead the immediate situation in Chicago that has others worried.

“We got to find ourselves,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said, according to Friedell. “I challenged them, whatever they got to do over the [All-Star] break, look themselves in the mirror, find a way to get committed to this team where we can come out and go on a run. And that’s all we can do right now is look forward. It’s been a bad, bad stretch of basketball. Hopefully we’ll get healthy and move forward.”

Hoiberg’s job is in no danger, Friedell confirms, advocating instead for the Bulls to deal away Pau Gasol. Two executives recently told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that they don’t think the Bulls are done testing the trade market for Gasol in spite of injuries to Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic. See more from Chicago, where the Bulls are in seventh place and just a game up on the ninth-place Pistons:

  • Mirotic will remain out for weeks, not days, as he continues to recover from a follow-up procedure to an appendectomy, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. The power forward had been targeting a return after the All-Star break.
  • The front office set a destructive tone when it undermined coach Tom Thibodeau last season, and it shows in the way the Bulls have responded on the court this season, contends Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Forman and Paxson told players last season that they didn’t have to buy in to Thibodeau’s coaching because the team planned to move on from him at season’s end, according to Cowley.
  • However, the negative effect Thibodeau had on the work environment in Chicago and the coach’s questionable substitution patterns are some of the reasons why it’s not as if his continued presence would have prevented the team’s problems this year, contends Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. The Timberwolves are the latest team to emerge with apparent interest in the ex-Bulls coach.
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