Bulls Replacing Jim Boylen With Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd or Kenny Atkinson?
The Chicago Bulls officially fired Jim Boylen on Friday morning. President of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas made the announcement less than 24 hours after the NBA regular season officially concluded.
Boylen went 39-84 in his two years with the franchise – failing to make a postseason showing in either of those seasons. His percentage with the Bulls is second to only Tim Floyd for worst in team history.
Chicago has a lot of young talent that was being underutilized and clearly needed to go in a different direction from a coaching perspective, so the move is unsurprising.
The question now becomes, who does Karnisovas hire next?
Bulls have fired coach Jim Boylen
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 14, 2020
Experienced vs Inexperienced Candidates
Between Zack LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter and Coby White, there is enough young talent on the Bulls roster to make some noise in the perpetually unimpressive Eastern Conference. That means the vacant head coaching position is actually one of the more desirable ones in the NBA.
Karnisovas will essentially have the option of going in one of two different directions.
The 49-year-old could opt for a splashy, established name. Someone like Mark Jackson, who is currently in the broadcasting booth, or Jason Kidd, who serving as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Or he could opt for a respected basketball mind with minimal head coaching experience. Someone like Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin, Denver Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld, Jr., or Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham.
Ex-Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson also remains a viable option.
A Fresh Start
No matter who the Bulls ultimately hire to replace Boylen, the key objective for that person will undoubtedly be talent development. Chicago’s roster has too many talented, young pieces in place to perform as poorly as it has over the last few years.
Last year’s pre-Kevin Durant Nets proved how wide open the Eastern Conference is for a young, talented team who can gel at the right time. There is no reason the Bulls can’t do something similar with the right leadership.
This head coaching hire will be a defining moment for the franchise. If management gets it right, Chicago could be in position to be very good, very quickly. If management gets it wrong, it could prove to be a flub that sets the Bulls back a decade.