The Chicago Bulls decided to use the NBA’s hiatus to make some major organizational changes, finally choosing to move on from the long time combo of Gar Forman and John Paxson as the franchise’s top decision makers.
There were various names that popped up in their interview process, including the likes of Danny Ferry and Bryan Colangelo, but Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas was considered the front runner for much of this week after his first interview. Karnisovas reportedly interviewed again with Michael and Jerry Reinsdorf on Wednesday, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski the Bulls are moving forward with making his hire into their executive vice president of basketball operations role.
The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a deal with Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas to become the franchise’s new Executive VP of Basketball Operations, sources tell ESPN. Karnisovas will be tasked with hiring a new GM and reshaping the front office.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 9, 2020
Karnisovas has been with the Nuggets since 2013 when he was made their assistant GM before being elevated to general manager in 2017, but still answering to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly. He has long been regarded as one of the league’s top rising executives, formerly being a candidate for GM jobs in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, and now gets the chance to run a basketball operations unit himself. As Woj notes, his first task will be hiring a new general manager and then, one figures, they will have a decision to make regarding the future of coach Jim Boylen.
He joins the Bulls at an interesting time as they are early in a rebuild, but have some core pieces already in place (at least in theory) with Zach LaVine as their top star. There will be plenty of roster decisions to make going forward, including whether he believes in LaVine as a franchise cornerstone. The hiatus will allow him additional time to familiarize himself with the roster and dive deep into film to begin assessing where he feels the roster stands, but until facilities re-open, it will have to be a remote task of getting to know his new team.