Source: Bulls coach Jim Boylen is confident he’ll be back
Boylen remains mum on all things Bulls, including the new-look front office and his own job security, but the head coach has let it be known that he has done everything asked of him by his soon-to-be former bosses and would like a sit-down once the new regime is in place.
Bulls coach Jim Boylen has done his best to remain off the grid during the week despite all the news concerning the front-office restructuring.
No interviews, no discussions with the media.
Boylen has been watching film and preparing as if the NBA will return at some point in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.
And he’s not dwelling on his job security.
According to a source close to the situation, Boylen has let it be known to members of his staff that he will accept his fate from the new front office but fully expects to return as coach next season.
His one concern, according to the source, is with Arturas Karnisovas now calling the shots, Boylen was at least hoping for a chance to sit down with his new bosses and discuss his year and a half on the job before they make a final decision.
Whether Boylen will get that opportunity is yet to be decided, but even his biggest supporters — Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf — won’t be throwing a life preserver his way if Karnisovas wants to go in a different direction.
The argument in Boylen’s favor is that he did almost exactly what the organization asked of him this season. He established a defensive identity, changed the shot profile of his players and developed youngsters such as Coby White and Daniel Gafford. Also, Zach LaVine, one of the faces of the franchise, had a career year.
Michael Reinsdorf has publicly supported Boylen throughout, and he still has two years left on his contract -— although it’s a team-friendly deal if the Bulls want to move away from him.
But Boylen has some aspects working against him. He rubbed several players the wrong way, 2017 first-round pick Lauri Markkanen has regressed and, more important, as hard as he tries, he can’t escape a 39-84 (.317) record since taking over Dec. 3, 2018.
In his defense, he has had to deal with many key injuries. Markkanen has been in and out of the training room since the Bulls drafted him, and Otto Porter Jr. — the highest-paid player on the roster — has played in only 29 games since being acquired from the Wizards in February 2019.
Boylen also has had to deal with a faulty roster.
But coaching is a pass-fail business, and this is the same organization that came down on former coach Tom Thibodeau for ‘‘underachieving’’ even though he finished his stint with the Bulls with a 255-139 (.647) record despite also having to deal with frequent injuries.