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#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

Articles tagged: Chicago Bulls

John Paxson reportedly willing to step down entirely from Bulls position

Chicago Bulls logo

The Chicago Bulls are looking to make a major change to their front office structure, and one of their current key decision-makers is willing to step out of the way entirely if that is what the team wants.

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson is open to resigning from the organization if the Reinsdorfs, who own the the Bulls, feel that is best for the franchise. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times was told by a source that Paxson is prepared to either step aside and act as more of an advisor for the Bulls or step down entirely.

Paxson won three championships with the Bulls as a player, and he was hired as the team’s general manager in 2003 after longtime GM Jerry Krause resigned. The 59-year-old became the VP of basketball operations when Forman was named GM in 2009.

The Bulls are 22-43 this season and have not posted a winning record since 2015-16. The Chicago Sun-Times report notes that Paxson has grown increasingly frustrated with being lumped together with Forman, as the phrase “Gar-Pax” has gained popularity in Chicago in recent years. Typically, fans have used the term when discussing the duo’s inability to bring the team back to championship contention.

The Bulls are looking to hire a new front office executive who will have full control over basketball decisions, so it would be tough not to view any transition to another role for Paxson as a demotion. At least one candidate has reportedly already turned down the Bulls.

Report: Bulls turned down by Heat executive Adam Simon

Chicago Bulls logo

The Chicago Bulls are getting a few rejections as they seek out a new head of basketball operations.

The Miami Heat announced Monday that assistant GM Adam Simon has turned down the opportunity to interview for the Chicago job.

This is at least the second name that turned down an interview with the Bulls organization. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad, as the organization is casting a wide net in its search.

There’s one name that has received a high-profile endorsement, but that’s as far as that has gotten. The Bulls will ultimately receive plenty of interest, and with the NBA shut down, they have time to conduct a thorough process and find the right leader for their organization.

Report: Bulls looking for new executive to give full power over basketball decisions

The Chicago Bulls are making some major changes to their front office after struggling over the past few seasons.

The Bulls have begun a formal search for a top executive who would be given full authority over basketball decisions, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Two of the possible candidates for the position include Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas and Toronto Raptors GM Bobby Webster.

Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and GM Gar Forman have been informed of the search, and it is possible that both could remain with the franchise. Wojnarowski reports that Paxson will likely continue with Chicago in an advisory role, while ownership will have more conversations with Forman going forward. Forman has been the GM of the Bulls since 2009, and he could be reassigned to a scouting position.

The Bulls are 22-43 this season and have not posted a winning record since 2015-16. Franchise consultant Doug Collins has reportedly told the team that a change is needed, and he was said to be opposed to the hiring of Fred Hoiberg a few years back.

Karnisovas is credited with helping to turn the Nuggets into a Western Conference contender, while Webster has worked with Masai Ujuri in Toronto and helped assemble a championship roster last year. Bulls fans will welcome the change after several years of disappointing play.

ESPN’s Bulls ‘The Last Dance’ documentary unlikely to get early release

Chicago Bulls logo

Those holding out hope for an expedited release of ESPN’s upcoming Chicago Bulls documentary are probably out of luck.

In an interview this week with Front Row, Burke Magnus, the executive vice president of programming acquisitions and scheduling for the network, indicated that an early release for “The Last Dance” is unlikely.

“Overall, any original content project that we can conceivably move up, we are obviously considering that, including films,” said Magnus. “I know some have asked about ‘The Last Dance’ and the reality is that the production of that film has not yet been completed, so we are limited there at the moment. Obviously, you can’t air it until it’s done.”

Rumors of an early release for the documentary, which is set to give an in-depth look at the 1997-98 Bulls season, began swirling in recent days amid the coronavirus pandemic. Notably, ESPN began advertising the documentary as “coming soon” instead of the June 2020 release date previously announced.

While excited viewers may have to sit tight for a bit longer, rest assured there is still plenty of newfound sports content for those at home in quarantine.

Video: Zach LaVine was not happy with Jim Boylen’s timeout call late in loss

Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine is grinding through another disappointing season with the Chicago Bulls, and he was openly frustrated with head coach Jim Boylen late in Saturday night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns.

The Bulls fell to 19-38 on the season with another rough performance at home, and LaVine appeared to think the loss took a little longer than it needed to. After the Suns extended their lead to 112-102 with just over 30 seconds remaining, Boyle decided to call a timeout. It was actually LaVine who signaled for the timeout, but it clearly wasn’t his decision. This video made that quite obvious:

The Bulls had a 17-point lead at one time in the game, but they fell apart down the stretch. They have done that quite a bit over the past two seasons, and LaVine apparently felt calling a timeout down four possessions that late was just delaying the inevitable. Either that, or he thought the Bulls should play faster and save the timeouts. The former seems a lot more likely.

LaVine has had some ups and downs with Boylen since Boylen took over for former Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg. LaVine, who is averaging 25.1 points per game this season, was vocal about his displeasure with Boylen early in the season after the star point guard was pulled for playing bad defense. As the losses continue to pile up, the tension will probably increase.

Report: Bulls expected to hire new GM as part of front office changes

The Chicago Bulls have been a struggling franchise the past few seasons, and they are expected to make some changes to their front office.

NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson reported on Sunday that the Bulls are looking to make an addition to their front office. According to Johnson, the person who is hired would “take on the day-to-day operations and become a fresh voice and face of the franchise.”

John Paxson is currently the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Bulls. Gar Forman is the general manager, but the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley says Forman’s status is in question.

Cowley reports that franchise consultant Doug Collins has been saying the team needs a change. Collins reportedly was critical of Forman’s hiring of Fred Hoiberg as the team’s head coach prior to the 2015-16 season.

Forman reportedly would likely be reassigned to a scouting position if a new GM is hired.

The Bulls are 19-36 this season and have not had a winning record since 2015-16.

Derrick Rose open to returning to Bulls

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose remains beloved by Chicago Bulls fans, and it sounds like the feeling may still be mutual.

Rose did not close the door on returning to Chicago, the city where he was born and started his NBA career, after his current contract expires at the end of the season.

It’s a general answer but it’s something. Rose was a member of the Bulls until 2016, by which point a series of knee injuries had robbed him of his prime. As surprising as the trade was to him at the time, he seems to have moved on. There’s no indication at this point that the Bulls are preparing to bring him back, but it’s an intriguing possibility.

Rose has been good for the Detroit Pistons this season in what has primarily been a reserve role, averaging 18.2 points and 5.8 assists per game.

Zach LaVine upset about being pulled for ‘egregious’ defensive mistakes

Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is not a happy camper after being pulled from Friday night’s game against the Miami Heat in the first quarter for what head coach head coach Jim Boylen termed “three egregious defensive mistakes.”

“I thought, ‘He needs a break,’” Boylen said, via Yahoo! Sports. “I thought he needed to come in and think about it. I felt there were some defensive mistakes that didn’t need to be made. I thought he needed to come over and think about it for a minute.”

LaVine, who is arguably the best player on Chicago’s roster, felt singled out and strong disagreed with his head coach.

As frustrated as LaVine may be, it’s clear to anyone watching that he’s regressed from just a season ago.

A year removed from averaging a career-high 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists and being in All-Star contention, LaVine is averaging just 19.8 points this season and shooting 40.9 percent from the field this year. And his defense? Yeah, it’s been lacking.

Anthony Davis dismisses buzz surrounding his Bulls comment

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis has only appeared in seven games for the Los Angeles Lakers, but people are already talking about the possibility of him playing for the Chicago Bulls. As you might expect, the All-Star big man says we can all pump the brakes with that.

Davis grew up in Chicago, and he was asked by a kid at a Nike-sponsored about the possibility of playing for the hometown team before the Lakers faced the Bulls on Tuesday. His response led many to believe he wants it to happen.

“Honestly, it’s nothing like playing at home,” David said, per ESPN’s Eric Woodyard. “I don’t know. … I mean, I am a free agent next year, but we’ll see. It’s a possibility.”

This isn’t the first time we have heard a star player leave all options open ahead of free agency, but Davis’ remarks sent NBA fans into a frenzy. After he scored 15 points in LA’s 118-112 win over the Bulls, Davis tried to throw cold water on all the buzz.

Davis also told reporters before the game that he is focused on winning a championship with the Lakers and all he meant about his free agency is “we’ll see where it goes.”

Unless the 2019-20 season turns into a complete disaster for the Lakers, it would be a surprise if Davis doesn’t re-sign next summer. LeBron James has already made it clear he wants Davis to be the focal point of the team’s attack, and the Lakers are trying to put themselves in position to contend for championships as long as LeBron is part of the team. With the Golden State Warriors suddenly looking like a non-factor in the Western Conference, the Lakers will do everything they can to keep their core together for at least a few years.

John Paxson indicates Bulls will not pursue Russell Westbrook trade

The Chicago Bulls are in need of star power and their next franchise icon, which is one of the reasons they have been mentioned as a team that could possibly be interested in trading for Russell Westbrook. It does not sound like that is going to happen, however.

Bulls president of basketball operations John Paxson was asked about Westbrook during an appearance on 670 The Score Thursday morning, and he said the team is looking at things “realistically.” By that, he means the Bulls are at a point where they want to let their young players develop rather than adding a superstar with a massive contract.

“You want the superstars. You want to do what the Clippers are doing and the Lakers are doing, but we’re realistic right now,” Paxson said. “We’re not in that position. We hope that in a couple years with the development of these young guys, players around the league view us as a destination point where they can win at the highest level.”

Of course, NBA tampering rules strictly prohibit executives from talking about acquiring players who are under contract with other teams. While Paxson couldn’t really get into specifics, he made it clear Bulls fans should not get excited about a potential Westbrook deal.

“There are teams that are going to take a real shot at someone like that,” he said. “You have to factor in everything. When you look at the financial aspect of a player that’s 30 going out four years (on his contract) and the amount of money that’s going to be made, those things can tie your hands up and put your organization in a tough position.”

Westbrook will turn 31 near the beginning of next season, and he’s owed around $170 million over the next four years. He’s also one of the game’s elite players, which is why we have already heard of teams being interested in making a run at him. Apparently we can cross the Bulls off that list.