Chicago Bulls fans have been asked to be patient for a long time now. Back in 1999, they understood. The dynasty had run its course. Michael Jordan and the band were gone. It was time to rebuild. Rebuilds take time. However, here the team is 21 years later and it still hasn’t even reached an NBA Finals despite living in an often-weaker Eastern Conference. For this reason, they hired Arturas Karnisovas as their new VP of Basketball Operations.
His job was simple upon arrival. Create positive changes to get this organization back to the basketball mountaintop where it belongs. One of the biggest decisions for him is figuring out what to do with Jim Boylen. The current head coach hasn’t exactly endeared himself since taking over the team. His .317 winning percentage is something impossible to escape.
Yet the man doesn’t seem too concerned about losing his job. Word is he’s quite confident he’ll end up staying. K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago is getting the same feeling. Not because Boylen has proven himself, but more because of money.
“Unless a proven, decorated entity is available, such a change would be a hard sell at a time when the team’s main source of revenue has dried up and no formal group activities are occurring. Only Karnisovas knows if, say, giving a first-time head coach an opportunity is an ask of ownership he wants to cash in during this unprecedented time.
The guess here is no.
Such a move also would start the clock on Karnisovas’ tenure at a time when all signs point to essentially the same roster returning, and the new executive and Eversley both saying they plan to take their time to assess the roster. Beyond the unknowns of the 2020-21 calendar and salary cap, next season could be an abnormal one as well.”
Arturas Karnisovas isn’t willing to defy his owners just yet
The Reinsdorfs have repeatedly said that Karnisovas has full authority to make any changes to the basketball operations he wants. That may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact they’ve put him in an awkward position. It’s been stated publicly multiple times that ownership likes Boylen. It’s also a well-known fact the team is renowned for being extremely tight with their spending.
Asking Karnisovas to remove a guy they like and have to pay millions of dollars to an unproven commodity just months after they handed him his dream job? That’s a bit much. Fans won’t like hearing it. To them it will just mean the new Bulls VP lacks backbone. That is just the nature of things. The reality is Karnisovas is playing the long game.
He wants to see what Boylen can do focused solely on coaching. Meanwhile he and Marc Eversley will move to start reshaping the roster to their own vision. If things don’t go well, they can always make the change later.