Friday offered more proof that this is a new era in Bulls basketball. And that this is Arturas Karnisovas’ show to run.
Even before the Bulls have made Karnisovas’ hire as head of basketball operations official, the former Nuggets general manager has begun acting on team president Michael Reinsdorf’s mission to build front office depth.
Karnisovas’ most significant hire will be his general manager, and the process to receive permission from teams to interview his list of targeted candidates has begun. According to sources, Nuggets assistant general manager Calvin Booth, Clippers assistant general manager Mark Hughes and Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd are three targets.
Additionally, ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that 76ers assistant general manager Marc Eversley is an expected interview target.
Lloyd and Booth had been previously reported as likely candidates, although there is plenty of talk that the Nuggets will move to promote Booth in the wake of Karnisovas’ departure.
NBC Sports Chicago previously reported that Reinsdorf talked with former Bull Nazr Mohammed for an undetermined front-office role. Talks could continue with Mohammed, who has worked in Sam Presti’s front office in Oklahoma City. However, they’re not expected to be for the general manager role.
This is all on top of the Bulls agreeing in principle to hire J.J. Polk as an assistant general manager. The Pelicans’ executive director of basketball administration, who received his law degree from the University of Illinois, is renowned for his salary cap knowledge.
This is all part of Reinsdorf’s mission, which meshes with Karnisovas’ vision, to grow the infrastructure of a historically small front office. Wojnarowski also reported, and NBC Sports Chicago confirmed, that Nuggets scout Pat Connelly is in play for a front office role. The former Suns assistant general manager has a strong reputation in player development.
The Bulls plan to employ multiple assistant general managers, which is more the norm in today’s NBA.
As for the future of holdovers like general manager Gar Forman, those decisions all will be Karnisovas’ call. Karnisovas and Forman spoke briefly, a source said, with future dialogue expected. However, the source said Forman will land in the scouting department at best, with the possibility of being let go to pursue other opportunities.