Bulls say they want to keep Jim Boylen as head coach next season
The Bulls fired Fred Hoiberg today, promoting assistant coach Jim Boylen to head coach.
Don’t consider Boylen an interim head coach.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Jim Boylen is signed through the 2019-20 season, paying him just under $1M annually, league sources tell ESPN. It is immediately unclear whether the Bulls will ask him to coach under that deal, or will negotiate a longer-term extension.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 3, 2018
Paxson stressed firing Hoiberg wasn’t about the Bulls’ 5-19 record, but rather about their energy and style. Maybe Boylen is the right person to instill those traits. He can affect the team more significantly as head coach than assistant coach.
But it seems unlikely the optimal long-term coach for the Bulls has been sitting on their bench all season. It’s a big world. There are good candidates outside Chicago. Though some might not be available now, many will be during the offseason.
This seams like a cheap move. I’d guess Boylen will get a raise with his promotion, but even if he does, there’s still plenty of room to increase his salary and leave him as one of the NBA’s lowest-paid head coaches.
Boylen’s resumé is fine, though hardly overwhelming. Boylen – not to confused with Jim Boylan, who took over the Bulls when they fired Scott Skiles during the 2007-08 season and Bucks when they fired Skiles during the 2012-13 season – is a long-time NBA assistant. He worked with the Rockets, Warriors, Bucks, Pacers, Spurs and Bulls. Between, he served as University of Utah’s head coach for three years.
Maybe Boylen is ready to become an NBA head coach. With most assistant coaches entering their first head-coaching gig, it’s at least a roll of the dice. But I’m definitely not as enthusiastic as the Bulls about his long-term worthiness.