Executive Vice President - Basketball Operations - Arturas Karnisovas
Karnisovas was the first domino to fall in the wake of #FireGarPax. Karnisovas comes to Chicago from Denver where he was an executive with the Nuggets. Right off the bat I really like this move by Jerry Reinsdorf and Co. Karnisovas helped to build a Bucks team prior to his time in Denver, and then helped push the Nuggets to become one of the best young teams not only in the West, but in the NBA. This was the right move for the Bulls to make, hiring a guy with a wealth of knowledge for the game and a track record of success to back it up. I fully believe Karnisovas is the guy to steer the ship, overseeing all basketball operations, and guiding this young team in the right direction.
Assistant General Manager - JJ Polk
Karnisovas' first hire was JJ Polk to be the new Assistant General Manager. Normally I would have liked to see the dominos fall in order: EVP, GM, Asst GM, that way the GM has a say in the hiring of his assistant. However, I have faith in Karnisovas, and I think he nailed it. Polk comes to Chicago from the Pelicans where he was, as I've been told, a "Financial Wizard." He spent 7 years in New Orleans, starting out as Director of Player Contracts, working his way up to Executive Director of Basketball Administration. Polk earned his law degree from the University of Illinois in 2004, so in a sense, this will be a homecoming for him. With a young roster, the Bulls will look to Polk to try and help them prioritize where they should be spending, and even more importantly where they shouldn't be spending their money in order to bring them back to the glory days.
General Manager - Marc Eversley
Despite picking his GM after his assistant, Karnisovas knocked this hire out of the park. I absolutely love Eversley. He worked his tail off to get to the position that he is currently in. He started out as a Nike store manager, hustling his way to the NBA. You can read all about his journey in the article from The Athletic. Eversley comes to the Bulls from Philadelphia, where I've been told, he was Bryan Colangelo's "right-hand" man for the 76ers right from the moment he was hired in 2016. People say Eversley is not one for being flashy or outgoing, but very business focused and determined. This is exactly the type of new blood this Bulls organization needed coursing through their veins. Karnisovas and Eversley are extremely well respected by executives in the league, which is a very fresh feeling for the Bulls. For the last, at least, 5 years, GarPax were looked at as a laughing stock around the league. For the GM and EVP, respect is huge. When it comes to making trades, signing free agents, and doing deals, respect is so so so important on both ends. And finally, the Bulls have it.
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