The Chicago Bulls are looking to shake up their front office, with Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times reporting that the team is looking to replace Gar Forman with a new general manager.
The Bulls probably won’t be firing Forman. Cowley notes that they will probably just move him into the scouting department. But nevertheless, this appears to mark the end of the John Paxson-Forman era in Chicago. But is that enough to turn this franchise around?
The Bulls will be keeping Paxson, who remains the primary decision maker in the front office. So I’m not sure why anyone would even want to take this general manager job. Apparently, Chicago is engaged in a “widespread” search for candidates and are talking to them through the “back channels.”
But what are the Bulls going to say to these candidates?
“Hey, we have a job opening at general manager for you, but you won’t actually be able to make any decisions.”
That doesn’t sound all that enticing.
I have actually been in support of Chicago keeping Paxson — for now — because he has actually done a decent job of assembling young talent in this rebuild. But if the Bulls really want to make a change, this is not the way to go about it.
If owner Jerry Reinsdorf desires to go in a different direction — and at this point, no one could blame him for wanting to do so — then he needs to just clean house and start fresh.
Honestly, demoting Forman solves nothing. As he has pretty much been stripped of a lot of his power anyway. Again, the decisions run through Paxson, so no incoming general manager would have full autonomy in this current setup.
It might be time for Chicago to just blow this thing up.
There is no question that the Bulls are a bit behind schedule. They were expected to at least contend for a playoff spot this season, but they aren’t even doing that.
Instead, Lauri Markkanen has regressed, Zach LaVine is frustrated and the Thaddeus Young signing has been a complete disaster. On top of that, there seems to be genuine concern over whether or not head coach Jim Boylen actually knows what he is doing.
I’m not saying Chicago was supposed to ascend into the upper echelon of Eastern Conference teams or anything. But I think most people expected the Bulls to be better than 19-36 at the All-Star break.
It’s not like this is something new for Chicago, either. The Bulls have missed the playoffs four of the last five years and won 27 and 22 games in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Right now, they are on pace to win 28 games, which is essentially a horizontal move.
The young talent here is still really good, and I do think Paxson deserves credit for putting it together. But Chicago can’t just move Forman out of his role and think that it will make much of a difference.