Every NBA team is dealing with financial strife to some degree, as well as a ton of uncertainty regarding the future. But so far, it’s the Bulls who seem to be having the most difficulty maintaining a competitive franchise in spite of their money problems.
Father and son Chicago owners Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf earned lots of good publicity earlier in the summer when they hired the well-regarded Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to run the front office after the lengthy tenure of John Paxson and Gar Forman. Now, the owners seem to be hamstringing that front office’s ability to fill out the organization by demanding that head coach Jim Boylen remain in place despite a 39-84 record over two seasons coaching the team.
According to a new report from Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, “there is strong growing momentum that financial concerns the Reinsdorfs have about the 2020-21 NBA season will keep Boylen in his current seat, as well as most of the coaching staff.”
Cowley confirms that experienced coaches like Adrian Griffin and Ime Udoka were in conversations with the Bulls this summer before ownership made its stance known. But Boylen’s $1.6 million salary is among the lowest in the NBA and will help the Reinsdorfs keep costs low in 2020-21.
While Boylen agreed to a “multiyear extension” in May 2019, reports suggested the 2021-22 season may have a team option on it. That would give Karnisovas and Eversley one last season to build a better roster, put their imprint on the organization, and challenge Boylen to improve the record before installing their own candidate.
These lame-duck situations happen often in the NBA and rarely go well, but money seems to be talking louder than anything in Chicago right now.