Marc Eversley

Thaddeus Young trade
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Rumor: Bulls player who might be available in trade is Thaddeus Young

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Feel free to ignore the rumors about the Knicks’ and Nets’ interest in Zach LaVine. It’s not that the New York teams wouldn’t be interested if the 25-point-a-game wing became available, it’s that the new Bulls front office is figuring out what direction it wants to go and LaVine (with two years left on his contract) may be part of that future. Chicago has no plans to trade LaVine.

The Bull who could be available in a trade? Thaddeus Young.

That according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

In fact, according to executives from two other teams, Thad Young, not LaVine, is the player considered most readily available. That’s largely based on Young’s displeasure with his role and usage last season, his team-friendly deal that carries only a partial guarantee in 2021-22 and his dependability and professionalism.

Young, 32, is a rock-solid 13-year NBA veteran who gave the Bulls nearly 25 minutes and 10.3 points a game, while shooing 35.3% from three. He gets his points without needing plays run for him. More importantly, he’s a quality defender who can disrupt passing lanes with his 7’1″ wingspan. A number of teams could use him at the four to stretch the floor and give them quality minutes every night.

Young has two years, $27.7 million left on his contract, a very reasonable number for the production. That makes him very tradeable.

All this will depend on what direction the new front office of  Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley decide to take the franchise. If Jim Boylen is out as coach, Young may want to stay and play for the new head man, getting a role he likes better. If Boylen stays (which feels more and more likely, it saves money in down economic times for the league and lets the new front office save the “change the coach” card for after another down year) Young will want out.

Look for Young’s name to come up in trade talk as we move into the offseason.

Bulls’ new president has yet to meet with coach Jim Boylen; no announcement yet

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls’ new top basketball executive wasn’t ready to make any announcements about the coaching staff over the weekend.

Arturas Karnisovas still has not met in person with head coach Jim Boylen. And that’s something he would like to do before going public with any decisions.

Boylen’s future is the biggest issue hanging over the Bulls, who were left out when the NBA’s Board of Governors approved a 22-team format to restart the pandemic-interrupted season next month in Orlando. Chicago has missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, a tough stretch for a franchise whose dominance in the 1990s was chronicled in the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.”

The Bulls overhauled their front office when they hired Karnisovas as executive vice president of basketball operations in April and Marc Eversley as general manager a few weeks later.

Boylen remains on the job. But for how much longer?

“I haven’t met face to face yet,” Karnisovas said during a conference call. “There haven’t been any practices. There haven’t been any games since I became a part of this organization. I really take pride in my relationships that I cultivate with coaching staffs, my basketball operations staffs. I haven’t seen them. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Bulls came into the season hoping to contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But the plan did not come to fruition.

Chicago was 22-43 before play was stopped in March and quite a bit has changed since the team walked off the court for the final time. John Paxson, a link to the franchise’s glory years, moved into an advisory role after leading basketball operations for 17 years, and Gar Forman was fired as general manager.

Karnisovas is in charge and says he’s on his way to Chicago, though he wouldn’t say when he expects to arrive. Eversely is not in town yet, either.

But they’re starting to lay the groundwork, hoping to lift a struggling franchise.

Boylen’s status and a potential coaching search top the to-do list.

At 39-84 in just under two years and with a new management team in place, he appears to be on borrowed time. The only Bulls coach with a worse record than Boylen is Tim Floyd (49-190).

But if a change is coming, don’t expect an announcement soon. With potential replacements possibly tied up until October — when the delayed 2019-20 season concludes — the Bulls have time.

“I know that you are anxious for me to comment definitively on our future of the Chicago Bulls,” Karnisovas said. “I understand that anticipation. That said, I take pride in being deliberate and thoughtful in my decision-making and take the weight of my decisions seriously. I’m not inclined to make evaluations prematurely to satisfy our excitement to move this team forward.”

Another report that Jim Boylen’s days with the Bulls are numbered

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The Chicago Bulls, at 22-43, sit as the 11 seed in the East as the NBA ramps up to return, but will the Bulls play another game? In some of the scenarios being floated, 11th would be good enough to get Chicago invited to Orlando for a play-in tournament and a chance to get into the playoffs. In other scenarios the Bulls’ season is done.

Chicago coach Jim Boylen may need that chance — and a good run — to keep his job. Reports have floated for a while Boylen was on shaky ground after some key players ripped their coach Arturas Karnisovas, the new head of basketball operations, and general manager Marc Eversley. A good showing in the NBA’s restart could be how Boylen saves his job, reports Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times.

So what could save Boylen? A Hail Mary.

His best chance would be if the NBA decided on a leaguewide play-in tournament, and the Bulls actually got hot and made a deep, unexpected run. But considering the team’s .317 winning percentage under Boylen, the likelihood of that happening is tiny.

The other thing that could save Boylen is the fact owner Jerry Reinsdorf and outgoing team president John Paxson (now a consultant) love Boylen’s old-school, hard-nosed ways (even if the players’ don’t). While Michael Reinsdorf — Jerry’s son and the guy running the Bulls now — has given Karnisovas and company free range to make a change, it’s possible in these uncharted waters the new front office decides to wait. To give Boylen the chance he wants.

Probably not, however. Most likely, the Bulls will have a new coach next season.

Report: New Bulls front office leaning toward moving Jim Boylen out, getting new coach

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Officially, nothing is going on with the Bulls and their coach, Jim Boylen. Like everything with the NBA, the evaluation of Boylen by the new front office is paused and will remain so until the league makes a decision about the season.

In reality, Arturas Karnisovas — the new head of basketball operations — and general manager Marc Eversley have been talking to players and holdover staff about Boylen. They are coming to a different conclusion than the previous management team that liked Boylen’s old-school, hard-nosed ways, reports Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ownership, as well as former vice president of basketball operations-turned-adviser John Paxson, would like Boylen back and have told the coach as much… [Karnisovas and Eversley] have already had detailed discussions with players and retained personnel, however, and are getting enough of a mixed bag of feedback of what’s gone on the last year that they are leaning toward starting with a new coach and moving on from Boylen once a decision on the season is made by the league, according to a source…

What will undoubtedly sink him, though, is a source said that several key players ripped Boylen to the regime, and then there’s the elephant in the room of a 39-84 (.317) record since taking over from Fred Hoiberg.

In general, ownership gets what ownership wants, if they want to keep a coach, he stays. However, in this case, ownership moved Paxson aside and brought in Karnisovas to make changes to a franchise stuck in a rut. To be fair to Boylen, the team had a lot of injuries, and what he executed on the court was precisely what Paxson and owner Jerry Reinsdorf wanted — an old-school coach that was the opposite of Hoiberg. It just didn’t work.

Coaches can be hard on the modern player and still get them to run through a wall for him/her — if that coach has built up trust and a good relationship with players. Coaches today can’t automatically expect “I say jump and you say how high” loyalty. At every level, coaches need to build a relationship with players and tell them why they are doing things — do that and today’s players will run through walls for a coach like always. Gregg Popovich can be as hard-a** as they come, but the Spurs players also know he cares about them as individuals and is not flexing his authority for the sake of looking tough. Boylen appears to have skipped the build a relationship part with a lot of key Bulls players.

The challenge for Karnisovas is that he only can play the coaching change card so often. Politically, is it better to bring Boylen back — especially with next season likely starting late, maybe not having fans in the stands at the start, and generally being different — then make a move in a year? Kind of an “I tried it with your guy but it didn’t work” tactic buying Karnisovas a year to start reshaping the roster the way he wants before getting his coach.

The downside of that is the reputation of the franchise, particularly with players and agents. If the Bulls want to bring in quality players and keep them — the kinds of players with options — then having a coach key players don’t like is an issue. If key members of the current roster are badmouthing the coach to the new front office, imagine what they are telling players on other teams.

It feels like a coaching change will be part of the house cleaning in Chicago. Probably. But right now, like everything else with the league, any decision about Boylen and the coaching position are on hold.

Bulls’ new GM Marc Eversley sees chance to do more than just restore franchise in Chicago

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CHICAGO — Marc Eversley gets a chance to help restore an iconic NBA franchise and set an example for the city’s youth.

He welcomes the opportunities.

A former Nike executive who spent the past four years in Philadelphia’s front office, Eversley was introduced as the Bulls’ general manager on Friday. He succeeds the fired Gar Forman and will work under new top executive Arturas Karnisovas.

Eversley also becomes the Bulls’ first black general manager, after spending the past two years as the 76ers’ senior vice president of player personnel.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I take pride in that. I think it’s a tremendous responsibility. I am a black man, I’m in a leadership position now in a city with so many black youths. I see this as a great opportunity. I think being visible is going to be important. And being invested is going to be important. I think this position position with the Bulls provides me with some resources to help drive some change.”

Karnisovas said “it’s our responsibility” and “it falls on our shoulders” to seek diversity. He will work with Eversley to transform a young team that expected to contend for a playoff spot. Instead, the Bulls were 11th in the Eastern Conference at 22-43 and finishing their third straight losing season when the NBA suspended play due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the front-office leadership in place, the attention turns to coach Jim Boylen. That could take awhile.

Karnisovas and Eversley haven’t arrived in Chicago, let alone met face to face with Boylen or witness a practice. Front office hirings, player development and scouting were the more immediate priority because of the limitations brought on by the pandemic.

“I’m going to do my comprehensive evaluation of every department and ensure I give the process the time it deserves,” Karnisovas said. “We’re limited right now with what we can do.”

Eversley said they “owe it everybody on staff” to meet face-to-face in Chicago and watch practices before making any moves “with respect to anybody on the staff.”

Boylen has a 39-84 record since replacing Fred Hoiberg early last season. Whatever decision the Bulls make, it will be a joint one between Karnisovas and Eversley. The two will share responsibilities when it comes to internal team matters as well as serving as the public voice of the franchise.

Eversley was with the 76ers when they drafted two-time All-Star Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick in 2016 and had a big hand in them trading up with Boston to get Matisse Thybulle at No. 20 last June. The rookie guard established himself as one of the NBA’s best young defenders this season.

The 76ers went from winning 28 games in 2016-17 to more than 50 the next two seasons. They were 39-26 when the NBA suspended play because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Canadian, Eversley spent a decade at Nike, managing company-owned retail stores in Ontario before moving to their corporate office in Oregon. He became the point person for their basketball player relationship division, then spent seven years in Toronto’s front office and three in Washington’s going to Philadelphia.

Eversley said he owes gratitude to Bryan Colangelo — his boss with the Raptors and Sixers — as well as Toronto executive Masai Ujiri, a close friend who “really introduced me to the art of scouting.”

The time at Nike taught him the value of relationships and a brand. Now, as he put it, it’s his job to help make the Bulls “cool again,” more than two decades after Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen completed their second championship three-peat. The spotlight is on the dynasty with ESPN airing “The Last Dance” docuseries.

After watching Sunday’s episodes, Karnisovas felt compelled to offer Eversley the job that night rather than wait until the next morning as planned.

“I was so emotional watching it that I was thinking, ‘Why do I have to wait until Monday? Let me check if he’s up,‘” Karnisovas said. “He responds that he didn’t get a chance to watch it live, and now they’re replaying it again on ESPN. So he’s on his couch watching. It’s late. It’s around 1 a.m. Eastern time, so I’m doing the same. But now, I’m calling him to offer him the job while ‘The Last Dance’ is in the background.”