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Report: Bulls finalizing deal with Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas

Chicago will bring in Karnisovas, who will take over as Executive VP of Basketball Operations. His next step would be finding a new GM.

General Manager Arturas Karnisovas of the Denver Nuggets looks on before Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE: April 9 — The Bulls are finalizing a deal with Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas, per Woj. Karnisovas will become the Executive VP of Basketball Ops, which was the job previously held by John Paxson. Karnisovas will then hire a new GM to replace Gar Forman. This is a major makeover for the Bulls front office.

UPDATE: April 8 — The Bulls interviewed former Atlanta Hawks GM Wes Wilcox on Wednesday, Woj reported.

The Bulls also interviewed former Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Add Bryan Colangelo to the list of candidates. He’s most notable for his time with the 76ers and for his involvement in Team USA basketball.

Woj is reporting that Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas may be the frontrunner at this point.

UPDATE: April 6 — The Bulls conducted a video interview with Utah Jazz GM Justin Zanik, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday.

After this, the Bulls will bring in Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas this week for an interview. Raptors GM Bobby Webster is also expected to be interviewed by Chicago, which is seeking permission.

The Chicago Bulls have been granted permission by ownership to hire a new top executive in charge of making basketball decisions, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday. Initially, the Bulls are seeking permission to interview two executives from notable teams. Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas and Toronto Raptors GM Bobby Webster.

Bulls GM Gar Forman and VP of basketball ops John Paxson will remain with the team for now. Paxson is expected to shift to another role within the organization, per Woj. Forman’s future isn’t so clear. “GarPax” as they’ve been dubbed, have been together in these roles since 2009, when the team was resurrected by Derrick Rose and free agency. Ultimately, those teams underachieved by a wide margin and GarPax haven’t been able to right the franchise since then.

Looking at the two candidates, Woj sites a few notable spots for each. Karnisovas was the one who drafted both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, plus brings a familiarity with European hoops and a vast resume. Webster was promoted to GM in place of Masai Ujiri, who runs the team now. Webster was a key member of last season’s championship team led by Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam.

This is a move the Bulls probably should have made a while back. It’s not surprising in the least Paxson is going to remain with the team. We’ll likely see some Paxson in “The Last Dance” doc coming out on April 19th on ESPN about the Bulls dynasty in the 90s. All that aside, it appears the Bulls want to bring in a more progressive voice, somebody who is open to new ideas in how to construct a winning basketball team.