Even though rumors are heating up about possible replacements for Bulls coach Jim Boylen, new executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas indicated that the decision won’t be a quick one, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. As we relayed this morning, one report this week indicated that Sixers assistant Ime Udoka is the front-runner to replace Boylen, but Karnisovas said today on a conference call with reporters that many elements will play into the decision.
“Coaching in the league is very difficult. To make a decision about coaching is really hard. It’s probably the hardest thing for executives,” he said. “So I look at a lot of aspects. I’ve had numerous conversations. That said, I’d like to be in a building, to be in practices, to be around the coaching staff in meetings. We’re looking forward to getting in the video room together, analyze the games, to watch games together. Talking to players and coaches, obviously everyone is disappointed with the results last year. They (the Bulls) definitely underperformed. Watching games, I’m excited to watch because there’s a lot of talent on this team. In order for me to keep players and coaches accountable, I have to have personal relationships with them. That’s what I need to cultivate. That’s my objective this offseason.”
There’s more from Chicago:
- Karnisovas said no more front office changes are planned, which means associate general manager Brian Hagen, assistant general manager Steve Weinman and director of pro personnel Jim Paxson will all be retained, Johnson adds in the same piece.
- Karnisovas had frequent discussions with Lauri Markkanen during the hiatus and believes the third-year forward can turn things around after a disappointing season, Johnson notes in a separate story. Although Karnisovas didn’t address the topic in the conference call, Markkanen will be eligible for an extension when the offseason begins. “He’s eager to get back to the gym and improve,” Karnisovas said. “He was disappointed by the overall result (last season). Every player wants to win. He’s about winning, as well. Our objective is to get the best version of Lauri next year.”
- Zach LaVine is disappointed that the Bulls weren’t able to qualify for the resumption of the season in Orlando, writes Eric Woodyward of ESPN. Chicago posted a 22-43 record before the shutdown — 11th in the East and eight games out of a playoff spot — which LaVine sees as an indication that bold steps must be taken to improve. “We weren’t even good enough to get to the play-in game,” he said, “so it’s upsetting and it just shows that we’ve got to do a lot of things differently to get ourselves that recognition to get to that spot.”