Tomorrow is a significant day in the Bulls rebuild.
The NBA Draft Lottery could change the shape of multiple organizations depending on which way the ping pong balls bounce. Whatever happens, Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf believes the Bulls have a good plan and the right people in place to see through the rebuild.
In an interview on 670 The Score’s Mully and Haugh on Monday morning, Reinsdorf said he has heard from fans who are unhappy with the state of the Bulls, but Reinsdorf stuck by his guys. Reinsdorf backed coach Jim Boylen, who recently signed a contract extension.
“I think we knew towards the end of the season that Jim was the right person for us,” Reinsdorf said. “We had enough experience with him and so it was just a matter of getting the contract done. I’m happy with Jim. I feel like he has put 100 percent effort behind coaching. I think he has worked his way up to the role that he is playing right now as coach of the Chicago Bulls. He has had almost every job there is in coaching, whether it’s through college or the NBA. He cares a lot. He’s got a plan and he also recognizes that he doesn’t always have all the answers.”
He also said he believes John Paxson and Gar Forman have proven themselves based on their track record in the draft and the contender they built in the Derrick Rose era.
“You can’t control injuries and I really do believe that if you factor in the Derrick Rose injury, we built championship-caliber teams,” Reinsdorf said. “They built a championship-caliber team. That team that was competing with Miami in the beginning of the decade. We had the best record in the league two years in a row. I’m not saying we would have won championships, but we certainly would have competed. We had the best record in the league two years in a row and we drafted Jimmy Butler. I look at the drafts that we’ve had, whether it’s drafting Mirotic at 22 and Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah at nine. I just think that they’ve done a really good job.”
Boylen, Paxson and Forman aren’t particularly popular figures among Bulls fans currently. That’s also something Reinsdorf said he is aware of from talking to fans in the past year.
While Reinsdorf did admit that rebuilds are painful, and even quipped that it’s “a lot of losses” between the Bulls and White Sox, he thinks they have a solid plan in place.
“I feel like we have a great opportunity with this year’s draft to add another player and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think we can jump from where we were this year to a much better record,” Reinsdorf said. “I really think we’re set up. Time is going to tell. I don’t claim that next year we’re going to be a championship caliber team, but I think you’re going to see the next step next year and a big jump. Part of the fun and excitement of basketball or sports is when you’re climbing up that mountain. Obviously we have been at the bottom of that mountain the last couple years, but I think we’re going to be climbing up it nicely next year.”
He also emphasized the importance of not panicking and remaining patient in the rebuild.
“We’re going to follow this plan through,” Reinsdorf said. “We have some cap space this year to spend on players. I do think we need to add to our depth and we’ll do that. I’m excited.”