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Denver’s Arturas Karnisovas makes good impression in interview for Bulls front-office job

Team president Michael Reinsdorf understands the importance of his decisions the next few months, and he continued attacking the organizational restructure that way in the interview process.

Bulls chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf is taking his time in remaking the team’s front office.
Bulls chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf is taking his time in remaking the team’s front office.

Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf made it clear the last few months that the decisions regarding the restructuring of the front office have to result from patience and casting a wide net.

He’s operating with that approach, knowing the next few weeks could define his legacy since his methodical ascent to power over the last three seasons.

According to a source, Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas impressed Reinsdorf during his interview Wednesday, but Reinsdorf will continue doing his due diligence as he looks to start putting pieces in place.

After interviewing Jazz general manager Justin Zanik on Monday, Reinsdorf also has interviewed former 76ers president Bryan Colangelo, former Cavaliers and Hawks GM Danny Ferry, former Hawks GM Wes Wilcox and several others who are staying under the radar for the time being, according to the source.

It’s important to note that not all of the interviews have been for the same position, and not all of them were true interviews.

There were several names on the list that Reinsdorf simply wanted to check in with, gather information from and get a good feel for just in case.

The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that the Bulls’ restructuring has never been about one hire or one direction. Reinsdorf has been doing his homework and has been impressed with several organizational models, but, as is the case for many franchises around the league, front-office structures are fluid.

As for the early leader out of the gate for at least one key position, Karnisovas is scheduled to meet electronically with Reinsdorf again this week, and if all goes well, the first block of this restructuring could be in place by next week.

The source said Zanik also was impressive. He has a strong background in player relationships and NBA cap rules, so maybe there’s a scenario in which Reinsdorf is looking to hire several executives and hand out titles to manage different departments.

Reinsdorf’s vision has never been to simply replace John Paxson as the vice president of basketball operations or just put a new GM in Gar Forman’s office. It has been about expanding the front office to have more specialization, including depth in player development, scouting, analytics and salary-cap decisions.

This is what the NBA has grown into the last three years, and the most successful franchises have adapted accordingly.

The Bulls historically have had the smallest front office, with Paxson and Forman wearing multiple hats.

With a rebuild that has stalled in Year 3, this massive overhaul was long overdue.

NOTE: Zach LaVine reportedly is one of the players expected to compete in ESPN’s televised HORSE competition. Chris Paul and Trae Young also have been linked to the event.