The Bulls have officially finalized two long-awaited hires, announcing today in a press release that Pat Connelly has come aboard as the team’s vice president of player personnel, while J.J. Polk will hold the title of assistant general manager.
The additions of both Connelly and Polk were reported last month even before the club had officially announced the hiring of new executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas or decided on Marc Eversley as its new general manager. The Bulls continue to revamp their front office after parting ways with longtime GM Gar Forman and reassigning executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson to an advisory role.
Connelly, like Karnisovas, is joining the Bulls after spending time in Denver, where he was the Nuggets’ director of pro personnel. The brother of Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, Pat will oversee the structure and processes of Chicago’s scouting department, according to today’s announcement.
As for Polk, he arrives in Chicago after serving as the Pelicans’ executive director of basketball administration. The Bulls announced today that he’ll primarily be responsible for “strategic planning and salary cap management,” in addition to providing input on player personnel decisions.
“Pat and J.J. both bring valuable experience that will enhance our basketball operations department,” Karnisovas said in a statement. “I know that the skills these two possess will be an asset in building out our program. J.J.’s expertise with cap management and negotiations will help us be creative in our deals and contracts, while Pat’s great eye for talent, global contacts and networking capabilities will organize our scouting department in a productive way. Combined, these two basketball minds will help increase functionality and implement our vision of moving this program forward.”