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Chicago Bulls new front office shift franchise to win-now mode

Chicago Bulls new front office shift franchise to win-now mode
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In April 2020, the Chicago Bulls fired longtime general manager Gar Foreman & reassigned team legend John Paxson to Senior Advisor. The franchise replaced Paxson as executive vice president of basketball operations with Arturas Karnisovas.

At the same time, hiring Marc Eversley as their new general manager. In the 15 months that have followed, the front office has completed an overhaul of the roster, with the team now heading in a more positive direction.

The Chicago Bulls have reached the playoffs just once in the six seasons since head coach Tom Thibodeau left. Making just one conference finals appearance since the Michael Jordan-led Bulls of the 1990s.

The last five seasons of the Foreman/Paxson era were one failed rebuild after another. Since Karnisovas & Eversley have taken charge, they have been aggressive and flipped the roster with a win-now mentality.

The Bulls sent Lauri Markkanen to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a three-team sign-and-trade deal. They acquired Derrick Jones Jr as part of the deal and a protected first-round draft pick. As well as a second-round pick from the Cavaliers. The deal concludes what has been a complete overhaul of the Bulls roster since the March trade deadline.

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The drafting of Patrick Williams with the no.4 overall pick was the highlight of the new regime’s first off-season as they looked to be patient in rebuilding the team. However, the new front office duo soon realized that the patient approach had brought nothing but failure during the previous regime. And it was now time for aggression & ambition to take over.

May 9, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) brings the ball upcourt against the Charlotte Hornets in the first half at Spectrum Center. The New Orleans Pelicans won 112-110. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

At the 2021 trade deadline, the Bulls sent the Orlando Magic players and draft picks to bring all-star center Nikola Vucevic to Chicago. The franchise also made moves to bring Troy Brown Jr, Daniel Theis & Javonte Green to the Bulls.

These moves did not transition to a playoff return but showed the new ambition of the Chicago Bulls, which continued into the 2021 off-season. The team showed they are ready to act like the big market team by signing their top free agency target Lonzo Ball.

This was followed by luring Alex Caruso away from the Los Angeles Lakers & agreeing on a sign-and-trade deal to bring DeMar DeRozan to Chicago.

Zach LaVine & Coby White are the only remaining players from the previous regime. The aggressive shift to a win-now mentality was all down to LaVine’s upcoming free agency in 2022.

Karnisovas & Eversley have shown they are willing to make big moves to bring success back to the franchise. With the influx of talent over the past year, the pressure is now on the team to deliver.

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Billy Donovan reached the playoffs in each of his five seasons in charge of Oklahoma City. If he can’t lead the Bulls to a playoff return in 2022, his job could be on the line.

Zach LaVine is the cornerstone of this Chicago Bulls team. The front office has shown its commitment to building a winning team around him. Now it is time for LaVine to prove he can be the best player on a winning team.


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