Sam Presti has been mentioned as a possible target in the Bulls‘ front office shakeup, but K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago doesn’t believe the organization is willing to spend heavily on a new executive. He estimates it would take an offer in the neighborhood of $10MM a year to get the attention of Presti, the current president of basketball operations for the Thunder.
Johnson adds that Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf is exploring multiple options, which likely include both Presti and Raptors executive Masai Ujiri. Toronto isn’t expected to let Ujiri leave while he still has a year left on his contract, but because Presti is a close friend with Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett, the feeling around the league is that Bennett wouldn’t stand in his way if he wanted to leave the organization. Even so, Johnson expects the Bulls to make several hires for the new front office, rather than investing so much in a single executive.
Johnson believes John Paxson will accept whatever role ownership wants him to and speculates that Paxson is actually behind the management restructuring plan. The Bulls also intend to revamp their scouting department, which Paxson originally proposed.
There’s more from Chicago:
- Front office candidates will likely be asked to keep an open mind about the future of coach Jim Boylen, Johnson relays in the same piece. Boylen received a contract extension after last season and has kept the support of management despite a poor win-loss record. He recently objected to senior advisor Doug Collins’ presence at coaches meetings, Johnson adds, so Collins’ role in that area has been reduced.
- Lauri Markkanen played nearly 21 minutes last night after being sidelined since January 21 with a stress reaction in his pelvis, Johnson writes in a separate story. Markkanen posted 13 points and four rebounds and believes he’s ready for more time once he’s cleared by the medical staff. “I thought he tried. I thought he was active. I thought he was moving pretty good. I thought he showed his whole game — inside, outside,” Boylen said. “… He showed his full game in the minutes he played. I think it was a good first showing for him.”
- Last night’s game between the Bulls and Timberwolves matches two franchises that are currently linked by bad decisions, states Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Those include the shared choices to get rid of Jimmy Butler and coach Tom Thibodeau.