The Chicago Bulls have begun a search for a top executive to oversee all basketball operations according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Chicago plans to retain Executive VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson in some capacity, according to Woj. Ownership has also reportedly discussed keeping General Manager Gar Forman, but not in the same role.
Chicago already has a list of names in mind to take over the direction of the team. This includes Denver Nuggets General Manager Artutas Karnisovas and Toronto Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster, among others, per ESPN. The Bulls plan to conduct the interviews electronically next week.
Both the Nuggets and Raptors are models of success that the Bulls have been unable to replicate. Karnisovas has worked with President Tim Connelly to make Denver a young powerhouse in the Western Conference. Webster, who took over for Masai Ujiri in Toronto when he was promoted to President, is also one of the more sought-after executives. He drafted Pascal Siakam, helped complete the trade of Kawhi Leonard, and signed undrafted guard Fred VanVleet. All of those players played integral parts in the Raptors championship run.
Chicago has been treading water for several years with Forman and Paxson at the top of the organization. Bulls fans have been clamoring for change for the same several years. There are several young players on the roster to work with and another high draft pick coming this summer. Whoever comes in to run the Bulls will have some assets to play around with. Given the uncertainty surrounding the NBA regarding COVID-19, the offseason may shake out differently than people anticipated at the beginning of the season.