In a bit of a surprising move, the Chicago Bulls announced Monday morning that they have relieved Fred Hoiberg of his head coaching duties with the team. This news comes with a rather pricey caveat, however, as Hoiberg's $25 million contract is still fully guaranteed.
What does this mean for the Bulls organization? As K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune recently noted, Chicago will be on the hook for Hoiberg's salary through next season if he is not hired by another team:
Hoiberg's $25M is guaranteed so unless he's hired somewhere else, Bulls will be paying him through next season.
No interim title for Boylen. He's well regarded in organization and has chance to earn job, per source.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 3, 2018
“Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time,” John Paxson, the Bulls' executive vice president of basketball operations, said in a statement.
“After a thorough evaluation, I elected to make this move with the overall development of our team in mind,” Paxson added. “As a team, I believe it is imperative that we make unfaltering strides in the right direction and build the right habits to help put our players in the best position to evolve not only now, but into the future. I want to thank Fred for his dedication and efforts, as well as for his enduring commitment to our team.”
Hoiberg spent five seasons as the head coach at Iowa State (115-56). His tenure with the Bulls began on June 2, 2015. During his stint in Chicago, the Nebraska native coached the team to an overall record of 115-155. According to ESPN, his 155 losses are the fifth-most defeats by a coach in Bulls franchise history.
The Bulls are off to a sluggish start this season. In fact, they've lost six consecutive games and 10 of their last 11. Injuries have played a role, to be sure. However, the fact is: Chicago's 5-19 start is tied for fifth-worst in team history.