Central Notes: Eversley, Bulls, Pacers, Pistons

Bulls general manager Marc Eversley, who reportedly received consideration from Detroit and Charlotte when those teams sought new heads of basketball operations earlier this year, recently signed a new three-year contract with Chicago that will begin in July, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Eversley, who was hired by the Bulls in 2020, has served since then as the front office’s No. 2 executive under head of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas.

The Athletic’s report on Eversley’s contract situation comes within a larger look at some key questions facing the Bulls this offseason, as Mayberry considers what the future holds for DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball, among others. Mayberry speculates that if the Bulls want to do a short-term deal for DeRozan, they may have to offer upwards of $40MM annually; he also suggests that team officials seem less optimistic than Ball about his ability to be ready to go on opening night in 2024/25.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • This year’s Pacers have been likened by some to the 2021 Hawks, who unexpectedly made the Eastern Conference finals but haven’t won a playoff series since then, writes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. However, Tyrese Haliburton believes the 2010-14 Pacers (who won five total playoff series and made the Eastern Conference finals twice) are a better reference point for Indiana’s current team, adding that he and his teammates will be fueled by the skepticism about their staying power. “We’re a group of guys that are really motivated by negativity, motivated by being doubted,” Haliburton said. “That’s how a lot of us guys are motivated. I’m really excited to go into this next year with, ‘The Pacers made the Eastern Conference finals. Can they do it again? They probably can’t. They’re this, they’re that.’ That’s exciting for our group.”
  • Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required) poses five crucial questions for new Pistons president Trajan Langdon to consider, including whether the Cade Cunningham/Jaden Ivey backcourt duo can work long-term, whether Jalen Duren is a franchise center, and whether this offseason is the right time to take a big swing.
  • James L. Edwards III of The Athletic takes a look at Langdon’s draft history as the Pelicans’ general manager to get a sense of what sort of player the Pistons might target at No. 5. In Edwards’ view, a “long, rangy” wing could be Detroit’s preference, with Matas Buzelis among the prospects who could be a fit in at No. 5.
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