When Michael Reinsdorf takes center court late Sunday night, the Bulls president and chief operating officer won’t just be ceremoniously ending his All-Star game hosting duties for the United Center and city of Chicago.
He’ll be taking center stage after doing plenty of work in the background.
Talk has been rampant throughout All-Star weekend about expected changes to the Bulls’ front office. According to multiple sources, Reinsdorf has been using this week to continue seeking input from confidantes around the league on candidates for what one source described as “an empowered presence” in the front office.
While no final decisions have been made, the expected addition would take on the day-to-day operations and become a fresh voice and face of the franchise. It’s unclear what this addition’s title would be, however general manager Gar Forman likely will remain in the scouting role he has worked in this season while Paxson would still report to the Reinsdorfs.
The scouting department also is expected to undergo a significant facelift, sources said.
As for the future of coach Jim Boylen, who signed an extension last summer, he still has significant support from the Reinsdorfs and Paxson. Whether he returns or not could be the first test of the autonomy of this expected new hire.
One source stressed no final determinations have been made on the structure of the front office. However, Jerry Reinsdorf’s other team, the White Sox, could serve as the blueprint. That’s where Ken Williams moved from general manager to vice president, while Rick Hahn assumed general manager duties and the role of the franchise’s public voice.
Paxson ceded that responsibility to Forman once previously but reclaimed it when the organization chose to undertake a full rebuild because he wanted to take on the responsibility of articulating the vision.
In recent separate interviews with regular beat writers who cover the team, including NBC Sports Chicago, Paxson stressed how much passion he still had to see the rebuild work.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said at the time.
But Paxson also would be comfortable having another voice help articulate that vision.
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