Arturas Karnisovas’ timeline remains very much his own.
It speeds up when the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations wants it quickened, and it slows down to a methodical pace when Karnisovas deems that it’s “deliberate’’ time.
The firing of coach Jim Boylen hasn’t changed anything, and neither has landing the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft. Karnisovas reiterated as much Thursday.
“Timeline? I said we’re not going to have a timeline,’’ Karnisovas said when asked about the early stages of the coaching search. “We already started the search, but we haven’t interviewed anybody. So that’s where we’re at.’’
You can expect that to start changing, however.
With the 76ers on the brink of elimination after going down 3-0 in their playoff series against the Celtics, assistant coach Ime Udoka, an early leader in the Bulls’ coaching clubhouse, will be freed up to formally talk about the position.
Udoka won’t be walking blindly into the situation. The Bulls have used back channels to make sure he knows they’re interested.
And while Udoka will headline that coaching list, expect it to be a long one. Karnisovas’ regime has been determined in decontaminating a Bulls organization that was filled with hazardous waste, starting with the immediate firing of longtime general manager Gar Forman.
The last thing Karnisovas & Co. want is to bring in the wrong guy as their first hire for the coaching position.
The Bulls are entering a crossroads in their rebuild. That means making personnel decisions on Zach LaVine for the long term, as well as finding out exactly what they have in Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.
A coach who understands the strengths of those players and excels in player development is paramount.
Then factor in a new piece of the puzzle being added in October, with the Bulls hitting No. 4 in the draft lottery, and there’s a reason Karnisovas will take a long, detailed approach to his next move.
With the NBA looking to open the doors for the eight teams left out of the bubble to get some practice time, Karnisovas was asked if that might affect his timeline, but he stuck to his guns.
“I mean, first of all, we’re excited to get those [group] activities,’’ Karnisovas said. “Players that I talk to, they miss group workouts, which is what’s going to be presented. But we’re not going to put pressure on ourselves to hire a coach by then. If that happens, it happens. But we’re not going to insist on that.’’
As far as the rest of the coaching staff, Karnisovas has been vague about Dean Cooper, Chris Fleming, Roy Rogers and Karen Stack Umlauf.
Assistant Nate Loenser had his contract picked up, but Cooper was a Boylen guy and could be headed out the door. A new coach is usually allowed at least one new hire, so expect Stack Umlauf to be demoted to her former position in the organization. Fleming and Rogers could be retained as long as the new hire can envision a workable relationship.
So when might that new hire be in the building to help make those decisions?
Only Karnisovas knows, and he’s in no hurry.