Jim Boylen Has Been Fired, Where Do the Bulls Head From Here?
After Jim Boylen's departure.
Jim Boylen has recently been fired, and with Arturas Karnisovas coming out of the gate with a new approach, its going to be very interesting to see what happens with the Bulls. Arturas is now working with former GM John Paxson, who has been demoted to a "Senior Advisory Role" this comes to a relief to all Bulls fans, most of which have been following this team for 20+ years. John Paxson hasn't been all that terrible however, looking through his Deals as Chicago GM, including a deal where they dealt Mario Austin (Someone who never even played a game for any team) for Carlos Boozer (A PF who averaged 16 Points per game for his career) AND a 2nd Round pick. John completely built the Bulls earlier core, of the deal for Carlos, a deal for Luol Deng, someone who gave them 16 points per game, just for Jackson Vroman, and Nate Robinson. When you look at John Paxson's earlier trades, it's just deal after deal where he finesses teams. A deal which I saw as the most unbelievable is definitely one that happened during the GarPax era, where they traded Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton, for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and Lauri Markkanen. This deal completely built the Bulls young core, the one that is both struggling and improving at the same time.
On the other hand of this however, GarPax has many bad deals under their belt. One of those deals, where they traded Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris, AND A 2ND, for Anthony Rudolph and Doug McDermott, is definitely their worst deal of all time. Most of the deals where they ship out some of their younger players for picks and veterans, are usually terrible. Most of their head coach signings have been bad as well, with Fred Hoiberg, out of a pool of 3 coaches, Tom Thibodeau, Jim Boylen, and himself, being a good coach.
Now, let's get to the problem this piece is trying to solve, what will the Bulls do? Well one of the main things Arturas has been focusing on as a main factor for player management, is player development. Arturas has been very good at it as well, with his seven years in Denver being significant years for development of such players of, Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Monte Morris, and Jamal Murray. He's also very good at trading and Free Agency as well. He's traded Doug Mcdermott for Jusuf Nurkic (as mentioned earlier.) It isn't all sunshine and rainbows for Arturas however, as he's also traded one of the better young players in the league, Donovan Mitchell, after he picked him draft night 2017.
So what will Karnisovas most likely do? Since he focuses a lot on player development and young players, he's most likely to keep this young core together. So no, Zach LaVine probably won't be traded, No, Lauri most likely will not be traded, and no, this team will not sign a bunch of veterans that are old and unathletic. He may have a few trades here and there, considering the team is so young, of which he trades players like Chandler Hutchison, Coby White, or Kris Dunn. Out of all players on the Bulls roster, Kris Dunn is most likely to be traded, because he has no offensive potential, he's 26, and he hasn't developed whatsoever since he was traded to the Bulls in 2017.
Another big thing for most Bulls fans is who are they gonna hire at head coach? With the Vacancy at head coach after Jim Boylen was fired, is pretty massive, even if he was one of, if not the worst, head coach in the NBA. Here are multiple options for the Bulls to hire. David Joerger, someone who developed a young Sacramento team with players such as, DeAron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Buddy Hield. David also took a team with a bunch of veterans on it, the Memphis Grizzlies, to 3 Playoff Appearances in 3 years. Kenny Atkinson is the next option, as someone who developed one of the youngest teams in the NBA, the Brooklyn Nets, and took them from a 20 win season, to a season where the team went over .500 and made the playoffs. Another huge candidate for the job is Ime Udoka, the current assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers. Ime has a lot of experience in the league and is pretty good at his job, Besides that however, he doesn't have any head coach experience and it would be his first job in that huge role.
The Bulls are currently at a cross-roads, they have solved the problem a little with the hiring of Arturas, but the problem still remains. In my opinion, Kenny Atkinson is currently the best option. I believe this because of his experience with taking young inexperienced teams, to the playoffs in a few seasons, he's also one of the smarter free-agent head coaches currently available.
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