Bulls' Arturas Karnisovas Talks Chicago's HC Search After Jim Boylen's Firing

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

FILE - In this March 10, 2020, file photo, Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen cheers on players during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Chicago. Boylen's future is the biggest issue hanging over the Bulls, who were left out when the NBA’s Board of Governors approved a 22-team format to restart the pandemic-interrupted season next month in Orlando. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
Paul Beaty/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls are in the market for a new head coach after letting go of Jim Boylen on Friday, and the team has begun compiling a list of candidates to replace him.

"I don't want to get too much into specifics, but our main focus, as we have said before, is player development," vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said on the Mully & Haugh Show Monday. "Our core is young, and we want to be attentive to that. That said, we still have expectations of competing at a high level this season and moving forward."

Karnisovas said the team's "great" core and history could be selling points for top candidates.

"Chicago is a basketball market and great sports town," he added. "Besides that, the Bulls are a franchise committed to being a winning organization."

Between Zach LaVine, Coby White, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., there are quality young players to build around while the team should have a high draft pick this offseason and the opportunity to add free agents.

"I think it's a good situation right now that we're in," Karnisovas said.

A key will be finding the right coach after three straight losing seasons under Fred Hoiberg and Boylen.

Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports called Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka the "biggest name to watch" due to his connection with general manager Marc Eversley. Assistants Darvin Ham (Milwaukee), Wes Unseld Jr. (Denver) and Adrian Griffin (Toronto) are also considered candidates as well as former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Karnisovas didn't indicate Monday whether prior experience will be important in the next coach, also noting there is no timeline for a decision.

The organization will instead take a deliberate approach to find someone who can turn things around after several disappointing seasons.