Rumor: Bulls interested in Sam Presti to lead front office

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The Chicago Bulls are reportedly considering some front office changes this summer.

The Bulls are rumored to be looking at Sam Presti to take over their basketball operations, if they make a change in leadership:

David Kaplan covers Chicago sports for ESPN 1000 and NBC Sports in the area.

Sam Presti has been the General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder since the 2007-08 season. He was promoted to Executive Vice President of the club in 2018-19.

Under Presti’s leadership, the Thunder have been a consistent winner in one of the NBA’s smallest markets. He’s unafraid to make big moves to keep his team relevant. Presti traded for Paul George to help replace Kevin Durant. Then Presti swapped George and Thunder icon Russell Westbrook for a boatload of draft picks and win-now players. Presti also acquired young guard Shai-Gilgeous-Alexander as part of the deals. Gilgeous-Alexander was in the mix for his first All-Star selection this season.

Chicago has struggled to find relevancy in recent years. The Bulls are going to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season and for a fourth time the last five years. Bulls fans have pressured owner Jerry Reinsdorf to make a change at the top of the organization where John Paxson and Gar Forman have led the team for over a decade.

Hiring Presti would be a boon to any team, but it’s going to take a lot to get him away from Oklahoma City. Presti has as many as eight additional draft picks coming in future years from the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and LA Clippers.

Maybe Presti sees the Bulls as a chance to rebuild one of the NBA’s marquee franchises. That’s Chicago’s best selling point right now. The roster has solid talent, but no surefire All-Stars. That’s a tough sell, given all Presti would walk away from with the Thunder.