With Jim Boylen out as Bulls coach, who has got next?

According to executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas, player development will be a top priority for the next Bulls coach. The list of candidates is expected to be vast but will start in Philadelphia, according to several NBA scouts.

SHARE With Jim Boylen out as Bulls coach, who has got next?
Philadelphia assistant Ime Udoka might be a candidate to replace Jim Boylen as coach of the Bulls.

Philadelphia assistant Ime Udoka might be a candidate to replace Jim Boylen as coach of the Bulls.


Arturas Karnisovas knows what he wants in his next head coach.

The Bulls’ new executive vice president of basketball operations made it very clear on Friday that it wasn’t Jim Boylen, as the coach was fired after just his second season on the job.

So what type of resume will attract Karnisovas’ eyes?

“In terms of what we’re going to be looking for is we’re going to continue focusing on player development, and an emphasis on player development,’’ Karnisovas said after the Boylen announcement was made. “Someone who puts the relationship with players first, and is a good communicator. There are a lot of factors going on in terms of criteria that we’re looking at in a coach, but again those are the main ones. And we will start the search immediately.’’

A search that plans on being vast, but begins with the Philadelphia coaching staff:

Ime Udoka – Philadelphia assistant coach: Not only has Udoka been praised as a coach that players instantly like and follow, but comes from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree. Yes, that tree also produced Boylen, but this branch is considered much sturdier. If current head coach Brett Brown is fired in Philly, Udoka could stay put, moving over a chair, but Udoka’s reputation as a defensive-minded coach, as well as a guy that’s more than ready on the player development side of the job, is enough to put him atop the candidate list.

Adrian Griffin – Toronto assistant coach: The star could quickly be fading on Griffin in the wake of serious domestic violence allegations made by his ex-wife. Obviously a situation that needs to be monitored, as Griffin’s coaching career is now on life support.

Even if he is found to be innocent of everything alleged, there could be too much baggage for the Bulls to touch at this point.

Kenny Atkinson – former Nets head coach: Atkinson was applauded for the way he developed some of his players in Brooklyn, but for as much praise as he received there wasn’t much winning going on there.

One industry insider said that Atkinson is known to be a self-promoter, so obviously Karnisovas would have some serious questioning to do in the interview process.

Wes Unseld Jr. – Denver assistant coach: A defensive-minded coach with a Hall-of-Fame father, Unseld is known by Karnisovas, and has an eye for player talent and development.

He understands the importance of player relationships, and has been applauded for being a direct communicator by players.

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