Central Notes: Karnisovas, Holiday, Cavs, Bulls

New Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has indicated that he intends to prioritize talent over fulfilling any specific roster needs as he approaches the 2020 NBA draft, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

“I don’t think you address needs at four,” Karnisovas said in a Zoom call after the draft lottery Thursday. “You get the best talent. That’s what we’re going to be looking for with the highest upside player.”

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago notes that the Bulls’ biggest needs appear to be finding a true point guard (Coby White, the No. 7 pick in the 2019 draft, is more of a scoring guard), a long-term solution at the wing, and even possibly adding frontcourt depth, despite the intriguing ceilings of recent big man lottery selections Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.

There’s more out of the NBA’s Central Division:

  • Free agent Pacers wing Justin Holiday has hired a new agent, Bernie Lee, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Lee also represents Heat swingman (and Holiday’s former Bulls teammate) Jimmy Butler. Holiday signed a one-year, $4.8MM contract with Indiana last summer.
  • Bulls president Arturas Karnisovas has indicated that September’s forthcoming group workouts for the eight teams (including Chicago) that missed the Orlando 2019/20 season restart will not expedite the team’s search for a new coach, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. The team fired coach Jim Boylen last week after one-and-a-half lackluster seasons at the helm. Sam Smith of Bulls.com notes that Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. and Sixers assistant coach Ime Udoka appear to number among the top candidates for the position.
  • Though the Cavaliers may miss out on top prospects LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 draft, team general manager Koby Altman thinks the team will have plenty of intriguing options left, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “We are confident that this draft position will allow us to acquire talent that will complement our core mix of young players and established veterans,” Altman said in a statement last night. Russo takes a look at five key prospects who may still be available for Cleveland, including Dayton forward Obi Toppin, Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija, and Auburn wing Isaac Okoro.
View Comments (20)