Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: The Bulls and Arturas…

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Joe Cowley: Source said that Miami up-and-comer assistant GM Shane Battier won't be interviewing for the Bulls GM job. Call it a mutual knowledge that the Heat covet Battier and won't be letting him venture out.
Karnisovas, who was the only candidate to have multiple interviews the last few days — including a final conversation with Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf — will replace John Paxson. A source said Paxson, who will move into an advisory role, has been kept on as a sounding board for Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf. Paxson would only offer opinions on basketball matters if Karnisovas asks. This is completely Karnisovas’ show now.
Reinsdorf leaned on a variety of people to shape his perspective. He picked the brains of rival owners and general managers, agents, former players, the league office and media members. He wanted names of good candidates. But most important was learning how other franchises operated.
Karnisovas, who was the only candidate to have multiple interviews the last few days — including a final conversation with Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf — will replace John Paxson. A source said Paxson, who will move into an advisory role, has been kept on as a sounding board for Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf. Paxson would only offer opinions on basketball matters if Karnisovas asks. This is completely Karnisovas’ show now.
Reinsdorf leaned on a variety of people to shape his perspective. He picked the brains of rival owners and general managers, agents, former players, the league office and media members. He wanted names of good candidates. But most important was learning how other franchises operated.
Arturas Karnisovas: Let's be clear: our ultimate goal is to bring an NBA championship to the city of Chicago. This is what every team in the NBA strives for, day in and day out. In the end, only one team wins each season, and there are countless factors out of one's control that allow for this goal to be realized. What IS in our control, is our approach and processes behind each decision we make. We will adopt a habit of excellence and as a team, we will expect and demand a lot from each other, in order to rise to the expectations of our fans.
Arturas Karnisovas: My role with the Bulls is an unparalleled professional opportunity; the height of a dream for me. I grew up watching the Chicago Bulls – that team represented American basketball and the NBA to a kid from Lithuania. Like many around the world, I have always held a love for this franchise, which is why it is such an immense privilege to play a role in the revival of this legendary team. Though there will be challenges, these are challenges I feel well prepared for.
Emiliano Carchia: Nuggets Basketball Operations Associate Martynas Pocius may join Arturas Karnisovas to the Chicago Bulls, a source told @Emiliano Carchia
During his interview process, Karnisovas conveyed to ownership that he viewed Paxson as a resource, not a roadblock, sources said — though Paxson only will be used as a sounding board. Karnisovas has full authority on all basketball decisions and already has begun building out the organizational infrastructure with the hire of at least one assistant general manager. Karnisovas also has been compiling a list of general manager candidates and plans to begin the interview process — including requesting permission for candidates currently under contract with other teams — in the near future, sources said.
Gar Forman is expected to pursue scouting opportunities with other teams. Sources said the Bulls planned to offer some form of settlement on the two remaining years on Forman’s contract. Though Forman sometimes rankled some agents and executives with his secretive ways, he has developed a leaguewide reputation as an elite talent evaluator. Drafting Jimmy Butler at No. 30 and Taj Gibson at No. 26 are concrete examples of this.
KC Johnson: Arturas on using Paxson: "I think right from the start during this hiring process, they were hiring No. 1 decision maker. John has a great reputation around the league and can be an asset. I appreciate his candor. he could be a huge help while I'm making this transition."
Joe Cowley: Michael Reinsdorf confirms Sun-Times story that John Paxson was willing to step down if asked.
Shams Charania: After 22 years in the Chicago Bulls organization, GM Gar Forman has been fired.
KC Johnson: Gar Forman in statement: "It has been an honor and a privilege to work for the Chicago Bulls for more than two decades. There is no better ownership group in professional sports than the Reinsdorfs, and I want to thank Jerry and Michael for their support during my tenure."
KC Johnson: More Paxson: "I’ve always tried to do what was best for our organization and put our team in position to succeed, and ultimately compete. I know Arturas will do the same. He brings the kind of talent, experience and commitment to collaboration that will allow him to succeed."
Michael Singer: Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly on departure of AK to Chicago: “It’s a bittersweet moment as we are losing a trusted colleague and a best friend, but we are so unbelievably proud of Arturas. He’s going to be an absolute home run hire for the Bulls.”
Darnell Mayberry: The Bulls make the Arturas Karnisovas hire official, announcing him as executive vice president of basketball operations in a press release. A formal press conference will be held at a later date.
As of Saturday, Karnisovas had no definite plans to meet with current coach Jim Boylen, said a source, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The front office build-out is priority No. 1, but the NBA can announce a shutdown of the regular season at any point, and it would only be fair to let Boylen and his staff know if they need to start looking elsewhere or would be returning.
The whispers, rumors, and speculation concerning the newly-hired Bulls head executive slowed down on Saturday, with one source saying Karnisovas was still talking to potential general-manager candidates, getting permission about possible interviews, and scheduling times.
Mike McGraw: One name I’ve heard for potential #Bulls GM is Dell Demps, former Pelicans GM. Lot of ties with JJ Polk and Tim Connnelly, who hired Karnisovas in Denver. Former DePaul forward David Booth also has ties to that crew.
KC Johnson: Wrote this but bears repeating: Bulls' focus is on building front office, not coach, for now, particularly with normal NBA calendar/offseason rhythm disrupted by COVID-19. Would expect further dialogue between Arturas Karnisovas and Jim Boylen.
Reinsdorf has been doing his due diligence for more than a year and privately said that when the time came to act, money would not be an issue. A source said that Karnisovas didn’t come cheap from Denver, but the negotiation was never even an issue. It’s a sign of how things have changed with Bulls ownership, especially in light of the reputation chairman Jerry Reinsdorf had earned as a tough negotiator.
Joe Cowley: Obviously nothing is decided on the coaching front and Jim Boylen's future yet, but there's been a lot of smoke around Adrian Griffin and the Bulls today. One exec told me Griff is so ready that he's "over-qualified" for most coaching jobs. Carlos Douglas Jr.: There are connections between Artruas Karnisovas & Adrian Griffin. Both are members of Seton Hall's HOF. Some #Bulls execs have alot of respect for Griff, who played in Chicago & also was a assistant for Thibs staff in CHI. If AK snipers Jim Boylen, im sure Griff will get a call.
Joe Cowley: OKC's Troy Weaver, Dallas' Michael Finley, Denver's Calvin Booth, OKC's Nazi Mohammed, and Orlando's Matt Lloyd are all in play for Bulls GM job, said a source. Booth might be the most ready - but hardest to get, while the source said Mohammed may end up being a gem.
In a rare interview, Michael Reinsdorf said his months-long process to assemble his short list for the head of basketball operations position finished with six names. Two of those candidates, both of whom Reinsdorf said the Bulls were denied permission to interview, represented diversity. “To have the Chicago Bulls put in the light that we are a racist organization, it hurts. And what it means is people don’t understand how we operate or the process we went through to hire our head of basketball operations,” Reinsdorf said.
Michael Reinsdorf: “Diversity is incredibly important to me. It’s incredibly important to our organization. It’s something that we pay attention to every day. Every time we go through a hiring process on the business side or the basketball side, we include diverse candidates. Every time. We do that because it’s smart. The only way you can have diversity of thought is by having diverse people in our organization.”
In the interview, Michael Reinsdorf acknowledged he could have added a diverse candidate to his short list once he was denied permission to interview two candidates. He said he didn’t do so because he didn’t want to be “disingenuous” and because he took so long to carefully assemble his original list. “We didn’t want to interview 12 or 13 people,” Reinsdorf said. “I spent a lot of time on this beforehand. I knew the five or six people that I wanted to approach.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Bulls will start calling for permission on hiring the GM to work with Karnisovas and those interviews will start in short order, per sources. Booth is a serious candidate for promotion to replace Karnisovas as GM in Denver.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Connelly -- with a strong background in player personnel -- is moving quickly toward joining a reshaped Chicago front office that already includes New Orleans executive J.J. Polk, as @KCJHoop reported. Formal Bulls announcement on Karnisovas' hiring could come as early as today.
In the wake of Karnisovas’ departure, part of the delay in announcing it is because there remains the possibility that some of Denver’s staffers could go with him to Chicago, a league source says. There’s not a uniform approach across the entire NBA, but the Nuggets believe heavily in allowing executives to further their careers if it means a significant upgrade in role or title.
Karnisovas, who was the only candidate to get multiple interviews the past few days – including a final conversation with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf – will be replacing John Paxson. A source said that Paxson will move into an advisory role, still being a sounding board for the Reinsdorfs — Jerry and Michael — and would only offer opinions in basketball matters if Karnisovas asks. This is completely Karnisovas’ show, and an important one.
Karnisovas will have full decision making over basketball operations, including the futures of Forman, head coach Jim Boylen, and the entire coaching staff. He was even asked about Paxson, and had the option of having the organization move on from the long-time Bulls executive if that’s what he desired. However, a source indicated that Karnisovas had no issues with the Reinsdorfs keeping Paxson around.
There were multiple reports that the search angered a handful of African American executives around the league, who felt like people of color weren’t involved in the searching process by the Bulls. A source close to the situation, however, indicated that not only did Michael Reinsdorf reach out to multiple minority candidates to try and get interviews – but was denied permission to do so by their current organizations, and in some cases simply turned down.
Jordan's original team, the Chicago Bulls, is looking for a GM of its own, and Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie publicly lobbied for the job on Wednesday through Twitter. That didn't just mean a statement of interest, though. Dinwiddie took things to the next level with an incredible 11-tweet thread detailing every step of his master plan to turn the Bulls into championship contenders.
Here is an incomplete list of moves he would try to make: Trade Tomas Satoransky to the Nets for himself so that he could be his own starting point guard for the Bulls. Sign with Klutch Sports in an attempt to curry enough favor for Rich Paul to convince Chicago-native Anthony Davis to join the Bulls in an offseason sign-and-trade. Thaddeus Young, Cristiano Felicio, Wendell Carter Jr. and a first-round pick would go to the Lakers. Use a sweetener to dump Luke Kornet and Ryan Arcidiacano in order to create the cap space to sign Moe Harkless. Sign another 3-and-D veteran, ideally Terrence Ross or Marcus Morris. Where that cap space comes from is unclear.
It’s one reason why, despite the Bulls’ rebuild currently being stuck in neutral and a largely disgruntled fan base, such potential still exists for Karnisovas. Chicago is a major market. The history of the franchise is rich. The facilities are top-notch. Intriguing young players dot the roster. And the Bulls’ books are largely clean with all of their first-round picks intact. “It’s not a good job,” one rival executive told NBC Sports. “It’s a great job.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a deal with Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas to become the franchise’s new Executive VP of Basketball Operations, sources tell ESPN. Karnisovas will be tasked with hiring a new GM and reshaping the front office. Patrick Beverley: Very Good for the city!!!
The sides were finalizing contractual details on a multiyear deal late Wednesday night, after the team offered the job to Karnisovas shortly after completing a second round of interviews, sources said. Karnisovas, 48, will replace John Paxson, who has been running the Bulls' basketball operations since 2003. Karnisovas will be tasked with reshaping the totality of an organization that has failed to reach the postseason the past two seasons, including hiring a new general manager and additional basketball operations and scouting positions, sources said.
The Bulls were taken with Karnisovas' history for talent evaluation and strong endorsements from Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke and president of basketball operations Tim Connelly about Karnisovas' leadership, organization and ability to structure operations, sources said. Karnisovas had a lengthy virtual interview with Bulls chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf, who is leading the search, on Tuesday, sources said. On Wednesday, Reinsdorf introduced Karnisovas to his father, Jerry, for additional discussions and got Jerry's blessing to offer Karnisovas the job.
KC Johnson: Confirming that Bulls are negotiating a deal to make Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas their next head of basketball operations, per source. 1st with news was @wojespn. As previously reported, this hire will work to build out organizational infrastructure, including a GM.
The Chicago Bulls’ search for a new head of basketball operations continued Wednesday with more potential candidates revealed. None of them were African American. The reaction from a handful of NBA’s black executives, who spoke to The Undefeated on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely on the topic, was disappointment and frustration.
None of the aforementioned Bulls candidates are of African American descent, which is troubling in a league that is about 75% black. Sources say Bulls COO and president Michael Reinsdorf, who has been conducting virtual interviews, had not spoken to any black potential candidates as of Wednesday morning. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that Karnisovas is the leading candidate. “They are not even hiding what they are doing,” one black NBA general manager said of the Bulls.
The Bulls hope to have the first part of the hiring process finalized sooner than later, sources said, particularly since the new hire will be granted authority to build out the front office's infrastructure. Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik interviewed for the position on Monday.
Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas has made a strong impression on the Chicago Bulls and emerged as a focus of the franchise's process to hire a new executive vice president of basketball operations, sources told ESPN. Conversations with Karnisovas and Bulls officials are continuing Wednesday, sources said.
KC Johnson: Bulls have interviewed Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas for lead executive position, per sources. As previously reported, Bulls hope to have process finalized sooner than later.
Front office stability has been a gift and curse for the Chicago Bulls, a marquee franchise that’s finally beginning to act like it. Team President and COO Michael Reinsdorf, son of managing partner Jerry Reinsdorf, has taken more of a leading role in the last couple of seasons and is spearheading the search to hire a new top basketball executive. Multiple sources tell Yahoo Sports Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas is the leader in the clubhouse. Karnisovas has a strong draft record and is known to be good in player development, two of the bullet points the Bulls have earmarked for their next top basketball executive.
Paxson has been involved in the implementation of the search and restructuring of the organization. He’s a favorite of Jerry Reinsdorf, having been a player on championship teams, a broadcaster and now, as executive vice-president. Sources say he’ll be as involved or uninvolved as the new head of basketball operations wants him to be, and it hasn’t been a deterrent in the search, given the awkward nature on its face.
The coincidence in the Bulls’ search for a new head of basketball operations isn’t as much that Zanik interviewed Monday and is considered a finalist for the job. It’s that Josh Paxson and Kevin O’Connor enjoy a respectful professional relationship, and the family ownership structures and philosophies of the Jazz and Bulls are similar. The Reinsdorfs, like the leaguewide perception of Jazz ownership, are known for running the business side and letting basketball operations do their jobs.
The Reinsdorfs are known for their loyalty and Paxson, along with Gar Forman, who has held the general manager title since 2009, has headed basketball operations for 17 years. But the perception that Paxson will be some hovering presence, going kicking and screaming into the night, is simply wrong. Early this season, Paxson communicated his vision to ownership for a new-look, more modern front office. He initiated some of this need for change.
John Paxson isn’t just trying to play good soldier and say the right thing. The Bulls vice president of basketball operations isn’t wired that way. The Sun-Times was told by a source on Tuesday that not only is Paxson all for stepping aside from his position and acting more as an adviser to the Reinsdorf family when the front-office restructure is finalized, but would even completely step down from the organization if the Reinsdorfs and the new-look executive group deemed it better for the rebuild to continue.
The source insisted that Paxson was ready for either scenario, wanting what was best for the franchise. And not in a martyr way, just saying what he feels everyone wants to hear. Paxson’s patience has been pushed to the limit the last few seasons, especially when it comes to the perception by outsiders of the job he’s done.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Utah Jazz GM Justin Zanik did a video interview with the Chicago Bulls today for the franchise's Executive VP of Basketball Operations opening, sources tell ESPN. Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas will interview with Bulls mid-week.
It’s looking less likely that the Bulls will interview either Raptors general manager Bobby Webster, who is in line for a new deal in Toronto, or Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon. The latter grew up in Miami and, beyond his strong ties to his hometown, is well respected by Heat president Pat Riley. Both candidates are expected to be retained by their clubs.
The Chicago Bulls are making changes at the top, having reportedly launched a search to replace long-time executive vice president John Paxton and general manager Gar Forman. And the Dallas Mavericks may have a top-notch candidate. "Michael Finley would be amazing in that role,'' Mavs owner Mark Cuban tells "Fin has had a huge impact on the Mavs. ... Amazing.''
Shams Charania: Sources: Pacers GM Chad Buchanan has decided to stay in Indiana and decline interview for Chicago’s top basketball operations position. Buchanan expressed appreciation and positivity about Bulls, but he and his family have been treated well in Indianapolis and opted to remain.
KC Johnson: Michael Reinsdorf’s goal is to build front office depth. Buchanan dropping off target list doesn’t change that. Bulls still hope to interview Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas, Raptors GM Bobby Webster, Heat asst GM Adam Simon with understanding final hire could make additional hires
With longtime tandem John Paxson and Gar Forman expected to be reassigned from their respective roles as executive vice president of basketball operations and general manager, the Bulls, led by president and COO Michael Reinsdorf, have zeroed in on four preliminary executives across the league. Sources tell The Athletic they are Toronto GM Bobby Webster, Denver GM Arturas Karnisovas, Indiana GM Chad Buchanan and Miami vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager Adam Simon.
More could be added to the mix, but the Bulls, sources say, will not pursue Toronto president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri or longtime Oklahoma City exec Sam Presti, marquee names some fans hoped the team’s frustrated ownership would present with a blank check. The team also will not look to high-powered player agents, an increasingly trendy approach and one that rules out Chicago-based Priority Sports founder Mark Bartelstein as a possible candidate.
Storyline: Bulls Front Office
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January 27, 2021 | 8:36 pm EST Update
Attempts to grow closer as a team are confronting a world in which proximity to teammates is both dangerous and prohibited. As a result, NBA players and staffs have been reduced to distant conversations through face masks, and a road life dominated by individual screens rather than collective camaraderie. “The reality is that you can’t do stuff like that anymore,” Haslem said. “Those opportunities don’t exist.” In Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner’s words: “It’s a bubble within a bubble.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
STARTING AN AVERAGE day on the road, an NBA player must now wake up as early as 7:30 a.m. to be tested before a practice or shootaround, depending on the market. He then returns to his room to catch another hour or so of sleep, or to busy himself with a video game, an episode of a series or maybe a FaceTime session with family back home. A couple of hours later, he reports downstairs to board the team bus. The wait in the lobby is traditionally a time when players schmooze and hang out, but with everyone at least 6 feet apart and masked, the vibe has taken on an edgy quality.
Pre-practice strategy sessions at the hotel can no longer last more than 10 minutes. Shootaround or practice offer some normalcy, but breakfast back at the hotel in a ballroom, typically a communal ritual where players and staff yuck it up at tables for eight, now operates as a grab-and-go. Want some fresh air? Forget about taking a walk outside, even though the CDC and other leading medical institutions regard outdoor activities with the appropriate precautions as low risk.
This season, that ground rarely extends much past the door to a hotel room. The Spurs’ custom on the plane has been effectively prohibited. Under the new guidelines, players must sit next to the same guys they sit next to on the bench during games. On an off night, it’s dinners for one in the room — a far cry from the jovial dining out experience in a road city. “I think that’s hard — having options taken away,” Holiday said. “You might go to your favorite city, and have a favorite food spot that people might not know about. And that’s something that you can bring to the table, something you share, and [this season] you can’t really share that.”
January 27, 2021 | 6:50 pm EST Update