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 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.
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 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.
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.
The Chicago Bulls made a couple of moves in free agency on Sunday that should have a significant impact on the team next season, and they are now reportedly looking for ways to shake things up via the trade market.
Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated reported on Monday that the Bulls are looking to trade point guard Kris Dunn.
A separate report at the start of the offseason indicated Dunn’s trade value was practically nonexistent, so that probably has not changed much. The former No. 5 overall pick has not developed into a starting-caliber guard in his time with the Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves, though he’s still only 25.
There have been rumblings dating back to last summer that the Bulls are unhappy with Dunn’s work ethic, which has likely has made him even less attractive to other teams. Dunn averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds while playing 30.2 minutes per game last season.
Chicago signed Tomas Satoransky on Sunday to help bolster their backcourt depth, and that move has made Dunn more expendable. They also signed Thaddeus Young to a three-year deal.
The NBA Draft is important for every team. It’s a chance to bring new, young talent into the organization. Teams that consistently get it right often line themselves up for years of success. Remember, before all the Kevin Durant hoopla, the Golden State Warriors were built almost exclusively through the draft process, with both Splash Brothers among the team’s first-round picks.
However, some teams need draft success more than others. They may be facing a long rebuild if they can’t keep the continuity going, or an even longer one than they’re already in if they get things wrong. Here are ten teams that really need to nail the NBA Draft, or the futures of their franchise could get quite bleak.
10. San Antonio Spurs
It’s been two years since the Spurs made it out of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, a rather unprecedented drought for the Gregg Popovich era. The Spurs always find players somewhere, even as they lose veterans. LaMarcus Aldridge, 34 in July, is the next big name to face the aging curve, and San Antonio really need an infusion of young talent on the roster here. This will only be the third time since the selection of Tim Duncan No. 1 that the Spurs will draft in the top 20. To keep the immensely successful run going, they need to get the 19th pick right.
Jim Boylen got off to a rocky start with the Chicago Bulls after he took over head coaching duties when Fred Hoiberg was fired 24 games into the season, but the team apparently has faith that he can turn things around going forward.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Boylen has agreed to a multi-year extension with the Bulls. Ownership feels he is the right coach to lead a young roster.
Chicago’s front office gave Boylen the freedom to run the team using his disciplinarian style from the time he took over for Hoiberg, and that nearly led to a mutiny among players early in the season. However, even with the Bulls winning just 22 games, the relationship between Boylen and his players clearly strengthened as the season went on. Boylen was fined at one point for standing up for his players, and Zach LaVine made a big statement when he offered to pay the fine.
Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine appreciated the way head coach Jim Boylen defended his players during a game last week, and he offered to cover the fine Boylen received from the NBA for picking up two technical fouls and being ejected from Friday night’s game during the Los Angeles Clippers. The gesture was not lost on the coach.
Boylen said he was upset with the screens the Clippers were setting, and LaVine later told reporters he appreciates having a coach who is “going to fight for us.” The NBA fined Boylen a total of $7,000 for the two technical fouls and the ejection, and LaVine offered to pay the money. League rules prohibit that, but the offer clearly went a long way with Boylen.
The Bulls got off to an incredibly tough start with Boylen after former coach Fred Hoiberg was fired, and LaVine was one of the players who threw shade at the coaching staff. While Chicago is just 19-52 on the season, his relationship with Boylen has obviously come a long way.
Stan Van Gundy thinks the Chicago Bulls have created a terrible situation for NBA head coaches.
Van Gundy joined “Kap & Co” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago for an interview on Tuesday. He was asked about the team switching coaches and was critical of the Bulls’ front office.
“That’s a bad setup for coaches in Chicago,” Van Gundy said. “They had their conflicts over the years with Tom Thibodeau even though he was winning. They fired a guy in Thibodeau, who was having great success. … They quit on Fred (Hoiberg) and now they’re going to Jim (Boylen). I would bet on (John) Paxson and (Gar) Forman simply offering Jim Boylen up as their next excuse for poor performance.
“The bottom line is that is not a good place to be if you are an NBA basketball coach — working for those two guys. They don’t respect coaches.”
Van Gundy stressed consistency and a lack of turnover as a key to rebuilding with a young team, and he says the Bulls are doing the opposite. He also said he didn’t think the Bulls would be able to land desirable coaches.
“I don’t think anybody who’s had any experience in the league would take that job feeling like they’re going to be empowered and supported by the front office.”
The Bulls fired Thibodeau after five seasons and five playoff appearances on the job. They reached the conference finals in his first year and the conference finals twice. Then Hoiberg was hired and fired early this season and replaced by Boylen. The negative feelings seem to be permeating throughout the organization, as players have been critical of the coaches. The Bulls are just not a very desirable destination at this point.