After talking to Jazz general manager Justin Zanik and Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls have touched base with a couple more candidates for their open front office position.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), former Hawks GM Wes Wilcox – who now works as an NBA TV analyst – has interviewed for Chicago’s executive VP of basketball operations job. Meanwhle, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reports (via Twitter) that former Cavaliers and Hawks GM Danny Ferry has also interviewed with the Bulls.
Up until now, reports on the Bulls’ search had identified only current front office executives as targets, with Magic assistant GM Matt Lloyd and Clippers executives Michael Winger and Trent Redden among the other candidates said to be on Chicago’s radar. This afternoon’s reports suggest the Bulls are looking beyond current team execs.
Wilcox, who was originally hired by the Hawks as an assistant general manager back in 2012, took over as the team’s GM in 2015 and served in that position for two years before the team revamped its front office in 2017. During his time in the club’s front office, Atlanta was a perennial playoff team, winning a franchise-record 60 games in 2014/15. The club entered a rebuilding process at the time of his departure.
Wilcox took the reins in Atlanta from Ferry, who was let go after reading an offensive comment from a scouting report on Luol Deng aloud during a conference call. Before his time with the Hawks, Ferry was the Cavs’ head of basketball operations from 2005 to 2010, guiding the team to five postseason berths and an NBA Finals appearance during that stint. Most recently, Ferry replaced Dell Demps as New Orleans’ interim GM last winter, but didn’t remain with the Pelicans when the team hired David Griffin in the spring.
Interestingly, three of the four candidates known to have interviewed with the Bulls – Zanik, Karnisovas, and Wilcox – are the same three executives who were said to be finalists for the Bucks’ general manager job during the summer of 2017. Milwaukee eventually changed course and instead promoted Jon Horst to the position.
While it’s possible one of those three – or Ferry – will win out this time around and be hired by the Bulls, there’s no indication that the club is done interviewing candidates. Before Wilcox’s and Ferry’s interviews were reported, Karnisovas was said to be the frontrunner for the job.
[UPDATE: The Bulls have also interviewed Bryan Colangelo]