3 offseason moves the Chicago Bulls must make if the season doesn’t resume
Before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to COVID-19, the Chicago Bulls had a lowly record of 22-43. They were in 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings and well on their way to missing the playoffs yet again.
Since the Bulls traded stars Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler in back-to-back offseasons, Chicago has become somewhat of a walking disaster. The Bulls haven’t made the playoffs since trading Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft day back in 2017. The franchise has also been looking for a stable point guard ever since shipping Rose to the New York Knicks in the summer of 2016.
However, things may start to be turning for the Bulls in the right direction. Chicago hired Arturas Karnisovas as its new executive vice president of basketball operations. Gar Forman is FINALLY gone and John Paxson is taking a step back, so the Bulls are going to be Karnisovas’ show moving forward and the city of Chicago is very excited about that.
If the 2019-20 season doesn’t resume, there are three moves Karnisovas should think about making right away to turn the franchise into a winner again.
3. Fire Jim Boylen
The Bulls have gone 39-84 under Boylen since he took over for Fred Hoiberg. He had a mutiny on his hands last season after trying to run a practice following back-to-back games and then got into a spat with shooting guard Zach LaVine this season after benching the high-flyer against the Miami Heat.
There have been numerous reports that have claimed none of the players on the Bulls enjoy playing for Boylen. Karnisovas needs to talk with all of his players and get a pulse for what Boylen is like.
Once that happens, odds are Karnisovas will let Boylen go since most of the players will be honest about their assessment of Jimbo.
2. Hire Kenny Atkinson
After firing Boylen, the Bulls should hire the former Brooklyn Nets head coach. Atkinson did a great job developing the young players on the Nets and that’s exactly the type of coach the Bulls need.
Chicago doesn’t have any superstars on the team for Atkinson to butt heads with. The Bulls need a coach to develop their guys into stars and Atkinson is the perfect guy for the job. Kenny is very, very good at player development.
The NBA is a players’ league. Organizations need players to run and win the games. However, the Bulls don’t have those types of guys yet. What is best for Chicago is not to stunt development.
If Atkinson learned anything in Brooklyn, he will improve his relationship with the best players in LaVine and Lauri Markkanen if he’s hired by the Bulls after struggling to connect with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the Nets.
1. Bring Derrick Rose back home
The Bulls signed Tomas Satoransky to a three-year, $30 million deal as a free agent in the summer of 2019 instead of bringing Rose home despite the fact that multiple reports stated Derrick was interested in coming back to the Bulls. Rose wound up signing with the rival Detroit Pistons instead.
Before the 2019-20 season was suspended, Satoransky was averaging 9.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists for the Bulls, Meanwhile, for the Pistons, Rose was putting up 18.1 points and 5.6 assists while only making $7,317,073.
The Bulls are paying Satoransky more than Rose and getting WAY less production. Chicago needs another explosive scorer to take the pressure off of LaVine and Rose fits that bill. Plus, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf loves to see those United Center seats filled and Rose would definitely bring the Chicago crowd back to the UC since he’s a hometown hero.
Rose is under contract with the Pistons, so if Karnisovas has interest in bringing him back, he’ll have to make a trade.