While the Bulls aren’t saying much publicly about Jim Boylen‘s future, new executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley have received a “mixed bag of feedback” on Boylen and are believed to be leaning toward making a coaching change later this year, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.
As Cowley details, the Bulls’ owners and advisor John Paxson, who made Boylen the head coach in the first place, are in favor of retaining him and have told him as much. Karnisovas doesn’t want to “rock the boat” early in his tenure with the team, but he was promised full autonomy and is expected to be given the go-ahead if he wants to make a change.
According to Cowley, Boylen has spoken to both Karnisovas and Eversley on a regular basis since they were hired. However, the new Bulls execs have also been in frequent contact with players and others in the organization, and Cowley says that “several key players” have been critical of the head coach, who has a 39-84 (.317) record since taking the reins.
A source tells The Sun-Times that, with the evaluation period ongoing, both Boylen and Bulls players have been advised to avoid interviews about the coach’s standing with the team.
Although Boylen remains under contract beyond this season, his salary is believed to be modest, so financial considerations wouldn’t stand in the way of a change. It’s fairly common for new heads of basketball operations to bring in their own head coach within a year or two, so even if Boylen holds the job for now, that wouldn’t mean the franchise is committed to him long-term.
Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin and Sixers assistant Ime Udoka have been cited as head coaching candidates the Bulls may look at if they do replace Boylen.