Sources: Pacers GM Chad Buchanan is candidate of interest for Bulls

USA Today

Sources: Pacers GM Chad Buchanan is candidate of interest for Bulls

The Bulls are planning changes to their management structure this offseason and have spent weeks gathering input on potential additions for what one source described as “an empowered presence.”

And while a team source insisted the process is in the early stages, multiple league sources indicated one name is gaining momentum---Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan. In fact,  one source described Buchanan as "a top target."

The Pacers hired Buchanan, 46, when they promoted Kevin Pritchard to president of basketball operations in 2017. Buchanan arrived from Charlotte, where he spent three seasons with Michael Jordan’s Hornets as assistant general manager under Rich Cho. Previously, he spent 10 seasons with the Trail Blazers, where he also worked closely with Pritchard.

In Portland, Buchanan worked primarily as a director of college scouting. However, he served as interim general manager for the 2011-12 season after the Trail Blazers fired Cho, who had replaced Pritchard.

The Trail Blazers drafted Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge when Buchanan and Pritchard worked together. Buchanan swung the trade of Gerald Wallace to the Nets for a first-round pick that new Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey used on Damian Lillard.

Buchanan is widely known for his embrace of analytics.

If the Bulls ask for and receive permission to interview Buchanan, his longstanding working relationship with Pritchard would seemingly indicate an ability to mesh with Bulls executive vice president John Paxson. As previously reported, ownership still values Paxson’s leadership and vision for the direction of the franchise. Paxson long has publicly stated he's willing to accept any role the franchise thinks is best for the Bulls. 

The specific structure for the expected front office changes hasn’t been finalized, according to a source. The Bulls also are planning an overhaul of the scouting department, which is expected to grow. Current general manager Gar Forman is expected to be offered the opportunity to remain in the organization as a scout.

Zach LaVine, Bulls donate meals to 2,000 Chicago healthcare workers

Zach LaVine, Bulls donate meals to 2,000 Chicago healthcare workers

Every day this week, the Bulls will deliver meals to 2,000 healthcare workers at various Advocate Health Care and Rush Medical Center locations around Chicago, the team announced in a statement Tuesday morning.

In the release, Zach LaVine, specifically, was thanked for a generous donation towards the gesture. Beatrix, Coca-Cola, Dunkin', Giordano's, Portillo's and Taffy Apple will also provide resources and assistance delivering meals.

Advocate and Rush are each hospital partners of the Bulls.

In March, LaVine pledged 12,500 meals to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in his hometown Seattle (details linked to below). LaVine traversed back West to be closer to family after the league's suspension.

Add this to the growing list of ways the Bulls organization and its players are stepping up in a time of great need. Find a bulleted summary of other ways the Bulls and their players are aiding their respective communities below:

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Douglas Caridine, brother in law to ex-Bull Randy Brown, loses battle with COVID-19

The Caridine/Brown family

Douglas Caridine, brother in law to ex-Bull Randy Brown, loses battle with COVID-19

Fighting emotion, Randy Brown struggled to find the right words.

But then the former Bulls guard, assistant coach and Chicago native settled on a theme close to Douglas Caridine’s heart.

“I have a big family. I have five brothers, blood brothers. And he was my sixth brother,” Brown said of his brother-in-law. “When you saw my brothers at the United Center, he blended right in. It wasn’t fake. It was real.”

What Brown, his wife, Tamara, and the rest of Caridine’s family is experiencing right now is as real as life gets.

On March 30, Caridine, 38, lost his quick battle with the COVID-19 virus. The graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and Lewis University, who worked in the financial aid office at DePaul University, leaves behind a wife and two young children. 

“We were expecting him to come home from the hospital. And then it didn’t happen. We’re in total shock for our family,” Brown said. “You sit around and take this stuff for granted. But it can hit home. He’s going to be forever missed.”

Through tears and laughter over a phone conversation, Randy and Tamara Brown talked about Caridine’s high school football career, his avid Bulls fandom and his love for baseball, which included him umpiring youth games. They talked about his beautiful wedding in the Dominican Republic and how he sported a “Mother’s boy” tattoo to represent his love for family.

But above all, they spoke haltingly with emotion, and forcefully with purpose, to honor Caridine’s life with words that they hope can be of public service.

“I still think that people are not taking this as seriously as they should. They don’t understand the severity of it because it hasn’t hit them yet. I want to put out there that it’s not just happening to older people,” Tamara Brown said. “He was a young man. He did have diabetes. We didn’t even originally think about that as a serious underlying condition. 

“For those who think, ‘Oh, that’s not a big deal.’ Diabetes is a big deal. So I just want people to know that this virus is happening to younger people. And people need to listen to what the professionals are saying and do their social distancing and everything else that comes with that.”

Tamara Brown said her younger brother first showed cold-like symptoms of a runny nose and cough on March 23. Since he didn’t have a fever, Tamara Brown said a nurse remotely offered Caridine treatment advice. But three days later, his breathing had worsened to the point that his wife took Caridine to the hospital. 

“When they listened to his chest, they could tell something was wrong. Immediately, he was diagnosed with double pneumonia and tested (for COVID-19),” Tamara Brown said. “They admitted him and sent him to ICU. They said they were going to sedate him because his body was really struggling. They put him on a ventilator.” 

Two days later, according to Tamara, the test results confirmed he had COVID-19. 

“I talked to him on (March 26) when he went in the hospital. He said he was scared. We joked around a little bit. I was like, ‘Dude, I’ll see you in a couple days. You’ll be fine,’” Randy Brown said. “Four days later, this kid was gone.” 

On March 30, Brown waited in the parking lot of the hospital out of respect for the hospital workers and visitors who needed to wear personal protective equipment, as well as to follow social distancing guidelines. Caridine’s direct family donned the protective gear. 

Tamara Brown said her younger brother passed away shortly after his family, including his beloved mother, arrived. 

“And the toughest part is we aren’t allowed to mourn with family,” Randy Brown said. “We aren’t allowed to grieve. Everyone wanted to come and visit, and we obviously said we can’t because this (virus) is so serious.”

Caridine was born on Christmas. Tamara Brown also talked about the difficulty of not being able to physically be with her and her late brother’s mother at this time, and the sadness of not being able to plan a funeral.

But like Christmas morning, Tamara Brown sounded like her brother’s life was a gift when she pondered a question about how she’d like him to be remembered. 

“He was 100 percent about family,” she said without hesitation.

For more information regarding COVID-19 resources the city of Chicago is providing and recommended best practices, follow this link to chicago.gov.

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