In a Q&A with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Bulls guard Zach LaVine said he he already spoken to newly-hired head of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and GM Marc Eversley, and is “extremely excited to get to working with them.”
While Karnisovas has held his new position for a couple weeks, Eversley’s hiring was reported less than 36 hours ago and hasn’t yet been formally announced, so the fact that he has already touched base with LaVine suggests it was a top priority.
Asked about what he wants to see from the Bulls this offseason, LaVine – who has spoken since the suspension of the NBA season about how disappointed he was with the team’s on-court results – said he hopes that everyone is “willing and prepared to sacrifice” and is focused on getting better.
“I thought we approached this year like we were going to be good and we weren’t,” LaVine told Kennedy. “We didn’t have the chemistry, we didn’t have the right mindset. We got a little bit shocked; we thought we were going to do really well and we didn’t do well. We have to come back and prove people wrong.”
Here’s more on the Bulls:
- The hiring of Eversley adds instant credibility to the Bulls’ front office, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times, who suggests that Eversley should help the franchise improve its reputation with players and agents around the NBA. One source who spoke to Cowley pointed to Eversley’s 10 years at Nike as a time when he gained experience building relationships with players across the league.
- K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago makes a similar point in his own look at the hiring of Eversley, writing that the former Raptors and Sixers executive built strong relationships with DeMar DeRozan in Toronto and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. Eversley’s investment in making those connections should benefit the Bulls, particularly in free agency, Johnson writes.
- Within that story, Johnson also suggests that the hiring of Eversley “could take some responsibilities off (head coach Jim) Boylen‘s plate.” As Johnson explains, Boylen felt compelled to handle certain matters when former GM Gar Forman began to focus mainly on scouting prior to his dismissal. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Karnisovas will retain Boylen beyond this season, but there’s no indication that a coaching change is imminent.
- Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic takes a more in-depth look at Eversley’s background, exploring why he emerged as the Bulls’ top choice during the GM interview process.