After finishing off a 27-55 season on Wednesday, Chicago Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson addressed the future of head coach Fred Hoiberg, rookie Lauri Markkanen's debut campaign and the team's potential draft strategy.
Per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Paxson said on Thursday that Hoiberg will "absolutely" return for his fourth season.
Markkanen, who was selected No. 7 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves before his rights were traded to the Bulls as part of the Jimmy Butler trade, had a solid debut season. The 20-year-old averaged 15.2 points and team-high 7.5 rebounds in 68 games.
Paxson was very pleased with Markkanen's performance, telling reporters the Finland native is a "foundational piece" for the Bulls to build around.
While the Bulls won't know where they are picking in the draft until the lottery on May 16, Paxson did indicate they are targeting a wing player to boost their roster.
"That would be an ideal spot," he told reporters. "Size and length and a shooting and defensive component at the wing."
The Bulls' 27 wins and .329 winning percentage from the 2017-18 season were tied for the seventh-worst marks in franchise history. Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis are all 24 years old or younger.
Since taking over as head coach before the 2015-16 season, Hoiberg has led the Bulls to one playoff appearance in which they lost in six games to the Boston Celtics last year.