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John Paxson says Bulls intend to keep Jim Boylen next season

John Paxson, Jim Boylen, Bulls

The Chicago Bulls announced the firing of Fred Hoiberg Monday, along with the intent to keep newly promoted head coach Jim Boylen beyond this 2018-19 season, according to vice president of basketball operations John Paxson, per ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

Boylen is still under contract until the end of the 2019-20 season, but it’s likely that the longtime assistant will hope for some job security in the form of a contract extension if the team intends to make him a part of its future. He’s owed under $1 million for this season and the next under his current contract structure.

“We want Jim to be our head coach next season… Jim is going to be our coach. We think he had the intangibles to be a really good head coach.”

Boylen has been in the coaching business since 1987, and despite successful stints with the Houston Rockets of the 1990s and another under Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, this is the first straight shot to the head coaching position after more than two decades as an assistant in the league.

The 53-year-old has been in and out of the league during his coaching odyssey, but has been a steady part of NBA circles recently (since 2011) after a six-year detour for the college game.

While the native Michigander could be what the team needs, fans aren’t expecting Chicago to go very far under the management of Paxson and general manager Gar Forman, who are still sitting pretty under the leadership of the Reinsdorf family, with the full endorsement of owner Jerry and son Michael, who holds the title of president and chief operating officer of the Bulls.