Arturas Karnisovas is the man running the show for the Chicago Bulls. Any decision regarding the coaching staff or roster is up to him. While that is definitely the case, his decisions are going to have consequences. An obvious example is the one regarding the fate of head coach Jim Boylen. Fans don’t want him back for well-documented reasons. Yet the bigger question is do any of the players want him back? There is a growing buzz that Zach Lavine does not and might take drastic action if that happens.
People who have followed the Bulls since last year should know the story by now. Lavine began to have issues with Boylen over the course of this past season. They got into a highly public argument during a game at one point. The Bulls star was seen talking animatedly at the coach, even dropping an F-bomb. While it’s not known what Boylen did, it’s fair to say Lavine disagreed with whatever his demands were.
One can imagine the prospect of continuing to play for the man doesn’t tickle him. So could Lavine make a stand and try forcing his way out of town via trade? Bulls insider K.C. Johnson didn’t deny it on the Bulls Talk Podcast. He made it seem like this scenario is entirely plausible.
“Here’s the thing. Zach’s got two years left on his deal and obviously he’s had some high profile events with Coach Jim Boylen. As I reported last week, there are more and more signs that it’s not going to be that surprising if Jim is brought back or at least given an extended dress rehearsal here. Zach is tired of losing and tired of having run-ins with his coach and tired of a lot of things.
Zach Lavine already getting attention from other teams
It’s likely the buzz really began to pick up on this when reports came out that the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets were doing preliminary work on Lavine’s availability. There is no question a guy who averages 25 points per game has significant value in the NBA. Nobody is untouchable. Especially when a new guy is running the team as is the case with Karnisovas.
All he might need is some incentive. Perhaps the prospect of avoiding an ugly standoff with his star player just months into his tenure. Will Lavine actually do it? That depends on the Boylen decision. If the Bulls commit to him for next season, it will be difficult to convince any player that the team will suddenly start winning more basketball games.
Lavine is entering his prime. He’s done nothing but lose since he entered the NBA. It makes perfect sense he’d want to try going somewhere else rather than endure more of that under a coach he doesn’t seem to like.