Bulls Notes: Draft, Karnisovas, Offseason, Oturu

Bulls executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas, speaking to Sam Smith of Bulls.com, confirmed that he’ll be the one making the final call on the team’s lottery pick this fall. He also suggested that – like most teams in the lottery – he’ll be prioritizing adding talent rather than focusing on fit.

“It’s a talent-driven league. Talent wins championships,” Karnisovas said. “So we’re going to be focused on adding talent. It’s going to be up to the coaches to maximize it. Just to get high-upside guys on our team. Looking at our roster I love what I see. The players we have now, a young core with vets like Thad (Young) and Otto (Porter). I think we can build on that. This group definitely can do better than what they’ve showed the last couple of years.”

Karnisovas, who previously served as the general manager in Denver, pointed to the Nuggets selecting both Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic in the 2014 draft despite already having multiple bigs on their roster as an example of why drafting for talent over need is usually the right call.

“The roster balance, you can sort that out,” he told Smith. “You go after talent in that position.”

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • Responding to a question from Smith about the Bulls’ greatest need, Karnisovas noted that he and new GM Marc Eversley view “developing on our players” as a prime concern. “Some of the players took a step back last year, which we are trying to address,” Karnisovas said. “When Marc and I came in, we came in with the No. 1 priority of player care and player development.”
  • Karnisovas also indicated to Smith that the Bulls will have the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available this offseason, confirming that he expects the team to operate over the cap, but under the tax. That’s not a surprise, based on Chicago’s commitments for 2020/21.
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic spoke to a number of scouts to get their opinions on some of the head coaching candidates who have been linked to the Bulls since Jim Boylen‘s ouster.
  • Minnesota center Daniel Oturu interviewed on Wednesday with the Bulls and expects to meet with several more teams in the coming weeks, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Oturu is the No. 36 prospect on ESPN’s big board, so there’s a chance he could still be available when Chicago picks at No. 44.
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