Bulls Notes: Hoiberg, Boylen, Markkanen, Parker

The Bulls‘ decision to fire Fred Hoiberg wasn’t based on his win-loss record as the team’s head coach, executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson said today to reporters, including K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Instead, Paxson explained, it was more about Hoiberg’s struggles to get his identity across to his team (Twitter link via Johnson).

“We were in a similar situation last year at this time. Poor record,” Paxson said (Twitter link via Johnson). “But the entire energy about this group was different then. What we’re lacking is an energy and spirit. It’s not as simple as saying we would’ve got that with healthy players.”

Associate head coach Jim Boylen will take over for Hoiberg, and he won’t just get the interim title. Paxson said today that the organization believes Boylen will be able to “affect change,” adding that the longtime assistant will be given the opportunity to remain in the role next season and possibly beyond (Twitter links via Johnson). For his part, Boylen told reporters that he believes he’s “a more passionate in-game coach” than Hoiberg (Twitter link via Johnson).

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • The eventual firing of Hoiberg was inevitable after his relationship with Jimmy Butler deteriorated, in the view of Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. Meanwhile, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News and ESPN’s Zach Lowe both make the case that the Bulls’ management group didn’t put Hoiberg in a position to succeed.
  • Lowe also observes that Hoiberg is not a “forceful personality,” which may have contributed to his inability to succeed in Chicago: “I have come to believe after talking to lots of sources over lots of years now,” Lowe writes, “that (Hoiberg’s) tepid nature played some role in his inability to imprint any foundational belief upon any of his four Chicago teams.”
  • In a separate article for The Sporting News, Deveney identifies eight potential candidates to become the Bulls’ next long-term head coach, starting with Boylen.
  • Boylen’s first move as the Bulls’ head coach will be to insert Lauri Markkanen into the starting lineup, shifting Jabari Parker back to the bench, per The Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link).
  • The rest of the Bulls’ assistants will be retained, and the team will also add G League coach Dean Cooper to its coaching staff, according to Boylen (Twitter link via Johnson).
  • As we detailed in an earlier story, Paxson said today that GM Gar Forman is “absolutely safe” in his current role.
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9 thoughts on “Bulls Notes: Hoiberg, Boylen, Markkanen, Parker

    • There’s a salary floor in the NBA so you’ve got to have a couple guys you pay well.

      • Jason Lancaster

        Not to argue, but Chicago could have saved that cap space for the trade deadline, and taken someone’s bloated contract on for cash and or picks to meet the floor

        They gave Parker stupid money to sell tickets or something. It sure wasn’t about winning games.

        • justinept

          the free agency class is better this summer. Giving Parker the money was basically a way to carry over the money to next year. taking on a bloated contract for a pick in the 20s wouldve taken them out of the market.

          • x%sure

            Yes it was no-risk really, with the team-option 2nd year.
            And Jabari had a rising 3pt rate to go with his quick strong power game. But but but maybe not a team player.

  1. greg1

    So confused.

    Hoiberg has to go, but how is Gar completely safe? How often do you see an assistant promoted in this situation that basically has been anointed the HC for years to come? Why is Parker on this team?

  2. stevep-4

    Actually not all coaches were retained. Randy Brown resigned after talking with Boylen about his vision.

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