One of the Bulls’ initial plans will be to seek permission to interview Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas and Toronto general manager Bobby Webster, among other candidates, sources told ESPN.
The Chicago property discussed the plan with executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and GM Gar Forman, sources said. Paxson is expected to continue playing an advisory role to the franchise; there should be more conversations with Forman about his future, sources say.
The Bulls plan to chat with several candidates to lead the franchise and expect new leadership long before the league resumes play after the NBA quits due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Interviews will begin next week and will take place electronically, sources said.
Karnisovas worked with Denver president of basketball operations Tim Connelly to shape the Nuggets into Western Conference contenders. The Nuggets’ draft successes – including Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray – played an important role in the revival of the franchise. Karnisovas, a 1992 Olympian for Lithuania, also worked at the Houston Rockets front office and the league office in New York.
Webster succeeded Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri as general manager in 2017. Webster was a key figure in the Raptors’ rise to a championship franchise, including writing All-Star Pascal Siakam, the profession of MVP Kawhi Leonard and MVP Finals 2019. the landing of undrafted players like Fred VanVleet.
Webster joined the Raptors’ front office in 2013, having worked at the league office in New York since 2006.
Paxson was hired as general manager in 2003 to replace the Jerry Krause Hall of Fame. When Paxson was elevated to executive vice president in 2009, Forman was promoted to GM.