REPORT: Bulls to begin front office overhaul

April 3, 2020

The Chicago Bulls are actively searching for a new general manager, according to Bulls senior writer Darnell Mayberry.

Mayberry reports the Bulls requested permission to interview Indiana Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan, Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas, Toronto Raptors general manager Bobby Webster and Miami Heat Vice President of Basketball Operations and assistant general manager Adam Simon.

Chicago Bulls fans rejected incumbent general manager Gar Forman after a spell of desolation. Under Forman, the Bulls devolved into a caricature of the once-proud franchise renowned for two separate three-peats during the 1990s.

However, while Forman possesses a strong draft record–Forman drafted Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler, the latter with the final pick of the first round–the Bulls struggled to attract premier free agents with Forman in charge.

Bulls fans also condemn Forman for alienating former NBA Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau while offering public support for current Bulls head coach Jim Boylen. Under Boylen, the Bulls labored to A .317 winning percentage (39 wins against 84 losses) while failing to contend for the postseason in each season.

Boylen also engaged in public disputes with key players. Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine was captured on camera mouthing what appeared to me, “Why call a timeout down by f*cking 10” before adding post-game that “that’s what [Boylen] do.”

Over All-Star weekend in Chicago, Bulls fans chanted “Fire GarPax,” referring to Forman and Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson. The demonstration served as an embarrassing display for a premier franchise hosting a marquee event.

Forman oversaw the brief success the Bulls enjoyed during the early portion of the 2010s before injuries prematurely closed the Bulls championship window. The 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls, led by Rose’s MVP efforts, finished 62-20 before losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in five games to the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.

However, the Bulls haven’t returned to the playoffs since trading Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017 for LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick in the 2017 draft, which was used to select Lauri Markkanen. While Forman indisputably won the trade–Butler departed Minnesota after one tumultuous season while LaVine emerged as a borderline All-Star–Butler since played an indispensable role for the Philadelphia 76ers and resurgent Heat.

In February, ESPN reported that Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf was preparing to make significant changes to the Bulls front office.

Whether or not Forman’s impending departure spells doom for Paxson remains to be seen. However, if reports are true, anticipate a front office overhaul in Chicago.

Read more by Matthew Rago:

Evaluating GarPax’s draft history

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