Bulls Hiring A New Executive
The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a deal with Arturas Karnisovas to become their new executive vice president of basketball operations.
This news is according to league sources and filed as a story to ESPN. Chicago has been looking for new members of their basketball operations department over the last few weeks, and they found their man from the Denver Nuggets organization.
The Bulls offered the job to Karnisovas on Wednesday night, and the two sides are working on finalizing a multiyear deal that would transform the front office. Karnisovas will be tasked with hiring a new general manager as well as assembling a front office staff that includes new basketball operations team members as well as new scouting directors.
The Chicago Bulls have failed to reach the postseason the last two years, and they have struggled to maintain any level of success since the Michael Jordan era of the 1990s.
Karnisovas will replace John Paxson, who is expected to move into an advisory role with the team. Current GM Gar Forman is also expected to have discussions with the team about his role moving forward. Bulls fans have referred to Paxson and Forman as GarPax over the last few years, and fans have been calling for their firing, especially over the last 12 months.
Forman and Paxson made some interesting moves over the last few seasons in an effort to rebuild the team, but it appears that the team is heading in the wrong direction. The team traded former MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks and also fired head coach Fred Hoiberg last season.
Jim Boylen was hired as the new head coach, and he has clashed with former and current players since taking over the role. Paxson and Forman also traded away forward Jimmy Butler in a move that has set the franchise back a few years.
New Man In Charge
Karnisovas first interviewed with Michael Reinsdorf, who is the chief executive officer of the team and the man leading the search. Reinsdorf then introduced Karnisovas to his father, Jerry Reinsdorf, on Wednesday night.
Jerry Reinsdorf agreed that this was the right man for the job, and the discussions began to take place. The Bulls also reportedly interviewed current Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox during the process.
The 48-year-old Karnisovas has a diverse background in the National Basketball Association, and he also came with high praise from members of the Nuggets organization. Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke and president of basketball operations Tim Connelly both highly recommended Karnisovas as a strong candidate for this job.
Karnisovas is credited with helping Kroenke and Connelly turn the Denver Nuggets into a perennial contender in the Western Conference. Karnisovas helped the Nuggets select three notable players in the NBA Draft and turn them into terrific NBA players. Under his leadership, the team selected Jusuf Nurkic, Jamal Murray, and Nikola Jokic. Jokic is an All-NBA center that has transformed the Nuggets into one of the top teams in the NBA.
Karnisovas is a native of Lithuania and has a decorated playing career of his own. He attended Seton Hall, where he played basketball before returning to Europe. Karnisovas had a long career in the EuroLeague as was also a member of an Olympic medal-winning team with Lithuania. He has also spent some time in the Houston Rockets organization as well as time working in the league office.
The Bulls have not won an NBA Championship since 1998, and have reached the Eastern Conference Finals just one time (2010-11) since Jordan retired.
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