Bulls up against the clock in pending front office restructure

Bulls up against the clock in pending front office restructure

Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf has several options to weigh while considering revamping the team’s front office. | Sun-Times Media

Bulls coach Jim Boylen is keeping a tunnel-vision approach to all the outside noise surrounding his organization, but COO Michael Reinsdorf needs to get the ball moving on how this will all look in the next few months.

Jim Boylen continues to worry about the business of basketball first and foremost.

At least publicly.

The Bulls coach reiterated that again as his team was preparing for a showdown of struggling franchises Saturday in New York, doing his best to ignore just how undermanned his squad has been because of injuries.

“What I’ve learned to do from people I’ve worked for and from being in this business is I take it as it comes,’’ Boylen said. “I try to stay in the moment, trying to do the best I can today to help this team get better and grow. I do not worry about tomorrow and I try to stay right in where we’re at. And where we’re at right now is banged up.’’

With help hopefully coming.

Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle) and Denzel Valentine (hamstring) practiced on Thursday, had no setbacks when the team flew out on Friday, and were looking to return against the Knicks as long as there are no flare-ups in pregame warm-ups.

Otto Porter Jr. (left foot) seems close, but the veteran will not push it, especially with him feeling there is little to be won at this point in the season.

The business of basketball shouldn’t be the only thing on Boylen’s mind, however.

On May 19, the NBA Draft Lottery is front and center. Come June 25, the actual draft. COO Michael Reinsdorf is knee-deep in mapping out the plan for a front office restructure, and it’s a decision that will not only impact Boylen’s future, but the entire direction of this rebuild.

If Reinsdorf can hunt down his white whale and add someone like Thunder GM Sam Presti, from analytics to the type of players and coaching staff a Presti likes would send a seismic shift throughout the Advocate Center. If Reinsdorf goes a bit safer, adding a person like Pacers GM Chad Buchanan to the mix, maybe that means one more season of evaluating Boylen and the roster. A big maybe, considering most new general managers or vice presidents of basketball operations want their own coach in place.

But if Boylen does stay in place that also means adding to what the coach has been trying to build, which is a defensive-minded team. With the Bulls sitting in that all too familiar No. 7 draft spot right now, picks 6 through 10 would allow them to add some defensive-minded wings, led by Auburn’s Isaac Okoro.

Porter will be a free agent after the 2020-21 season, and while the staff likes Chandler Hutchison to eventually be that wing presence on the defensive end, his injury history leaves more questions than answers surrounding him.

Presti, however, might want to go with a true point guard, and one that analytically fits into his mindset. That could point the Bulls in the direction of a Tyrese Haliburton or Nico Mannion.

That’s why figuring out a direction of the restructure is up against the clock.

Just don’t ask Boylen about it, who remains in tunnel vision mode.

“I cannot wallow in that negativity or the things I can’t control,’’ Boylen said. “Otherwise, I don’t do as good a job on that floor teaching the guys that are practicing and are playing and staying positive and upbeat and that’s what I get paid to do, and I take a lot of pride in my attitude in these moments.

“That’s what this league is about to me. It’s easy when your team’s healthy and you’re playing good and you’re winning games and all that, the league is really fun. But a lot of us in the league right now are going through these moments and that’s part of it.’’

Source : Joe Cowley Link

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