NBA rumors: Bulls interviewing Michael Finley for GM spot

Tim MacMahon: Sources: Mavericks vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley interviewed for the Bulls’ general manager job. Finley, a Chicago native who was twice an All-Star in his 15-year career, has spent the last seven seasons in the Dallas front office.

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There are candidates on Karnisovas’ list beyond the previously reported names of Matt Lloyd (Magic), Mark Hughes (Clippers) and Marc Eversley (76ers.) In fact, in another sign this is a new era in Bulls basketball, sources said Karnisovas hasn’t ruled out interviewing select player agents. Jerry Reinsdorf historically frowned upon dealing with agents, a stance changed when Michael Reinsdorf interviewed Jazz general manager Justin Zanik, who started as an agent, for the executive vice president of basketball operations role. This is one of Karnisovas’ most critical hires, and there is speculation around the league that he has preferred candidates. You don’t spend time hoping to lead a franchise one day without formulating ideas about how to execute a leadership plan.
According to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, the Bulls have not requested permission to contact Battier, who has spent the past three years with the Miami Heat as the team's vice president of basketball development and analytics.
Will Gar Forman be hired by another team? The early talk around the league is yes. Forman, for all his issues involving trust with some agents and other executives, is also known as an extremely strong talent evaluator. He has two years left on his contract with the Bulls, which will be paid to him in some fashion, a source said. But he’s likely to land a scouting job with another team.
Scottie Pippen says he got FIRED from his role with the Chicago Bulls ... but don't feel bad for the guy, 'cause he's pretty glad to be away from that mess!! The 6-time champ revealed the move on the Thuzio Live & Unfiltered podcast (which was recorded during All-Star Weekend but released Wednesday) ... explaining he couldn't come to an agreement with the Bulls front office prior to the 2019 season, so they canned him. "I got fired this year. I didn't really want it to be in the public, but I'm no longer employed by the Bulls," Pippen said in the interview.
Here's what went down ... the Bulls reportedly met with Pippen before the season and asked him to make several commitments that would mess up his gig with ESPN's "The Jump" ... but wouldn't budge on compensation, so they let him go. So ... how is Pippen taking it?? Let's say pretty well. "It's probably a good thing, right? ... I like to associate myself with winning."
Despite speculated interest, the Chicago Bulls have not requested permission from the Miami Heat to contact Vice President of Basketball Development and Analytics Shane Battier, an NBA source confirmed to the Sun Sentinel. Battier's name had been floated as a possible option for the Bulls' vacancy at general manager on the staff being formulated by Arturas Karnisovas, who was hired away from the Denver Nuggets last week as Chicago's executive vice president of basketball operations.
Heat Vice President of Basketball Operations Adam Simon had been among the candidates pursued by the Bulls for the job that went to Karnisovas, with the Heat last week issuing a statement about retaining Simon, "He loves it here and we love having him." Battier is in the midst of his third season with the Heat under his present title, joining Pat Riley's Heat front office on Feb. 16, 2017, following a career that saw him share in Heat championships in 2012 and '13.
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.
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September 23, 2021 | 11:46 am EDT Update
Though it doesn’t look good right now, the Sixers continue to insist that their preferred outcome at this point is to bring Simmons back and try to work through this. Embiid has publicly stumped for Simmons and privately insisted they can turn this around if they simply get him back in the gym and around the team. Rivers does not believe this will be an issue in the locker room, using an example from his own playing days to show these situations can be rectified. “The San Antonio Spurs traded Sean Elliott,” Rivers said. “You remember that? Traded him to Detroit, he failed the physical, didn’t want to come back, came back and they won the championship the next year, so these things can happen.”
Storyline: Ben Simmons Trade?
“That may be where he’s at today, that may not be where he’s at tomorrow. You just don’t know, and that’s why we got to keep communicating and see where we can take this,” Rivers said. “He has four years left on his contract, it’s in our hands…once we get him back in the fold, then we can get to work. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t have an expectation. Because I don’t know where we would go. That will happen if it happens, but right now Ben is still part of this team, and I’m gonna focus on that part of it.”
Yossi Gozlan: The Pelicans ended up operating over the cap after clearing a lot of money in their trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. While they couldn’t get an All-Star caliber player with their flexibility, they might have better fits on their team now that they have more shooting to surround Williamson. They could be primed for a significant in-season trade with many young players, draft picks and tradeable salaries in their arsenal. Satoransky and Josh Hart could be particularly expendable due to New Orleans’ glut of guards, with Hart being an intriguing name to keep an eye on due to his unique salary structure.
Yossi Gozlan: Robinson is currently eligible for an extension worth up to $55.6 million over four years. Since the Knicks exercised his team option for this season, he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. This could incentivize them to extend him before the end of the season. A two-year deal that aligns his contract with the rest of the core could make sense. The Knicks won’t be losing any cap space since they’re capped out until at least 2023. They also must decide whether or not to extend Kevin Knox before the start of the regular season.
Storyline: Mitchell Robinson Extension?
Ownership was made aware of Rosas’ transgressions with the staffer when team officials were provided with photographic evidence of their connection, sources said. It seems few if any in Minnesota and around the league had general knowledge of Rosas’ relationship until Wednesday, when the news quickly spread throughout the organization, and to rival team personnel, like wildfire. Rosas and the woman, each of whom is married, were seen kissing in a suite during a Minnesota United FC game last Saturday at Allianz Field​​, sources said. The soccer club was told to reserve luxury seating for several Timberwolves players and personnel, including assistant coach Pablo Prigioni. Two seats were filled by Rosas and the staffer.
Those pictures have been obtained by Bleacher Report. One photograph is a close-up shot, clearly showing Rosas and the woman sitting beside one another in light blue cushioned seats, behind the suite’s protective plexiglass. A second photograph follows, where the two have leaned towards one another for a romantic embrace. Minnesota’s statement announcing Rosas’ departure provided no further context behind its decision, and as word of his affair swirled around the league Wednesday, several executives noted how Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor did not thank Rosas for his time atop the team’s basketball department, as is customary in the business.
Storyline: Timberwolves Front Office
The revelation of Rosas’ relationship comes after a series of tense staffing dynamics within his front office, and a level of discontent from some Timberwolves staffers pertaining to Rosas’ leadership style, which has been described as isolationist. Any lead executive is privy to make final basketball decisions as they see fit, but several Minnesota figures told B/R they were dissatisfied by Rosas’ penchant for disregarding consultations from his front office.