Although Jim Boylen is technically still the head coach of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, there is widespread speculation that the team will move in a new direction with a different coach beginning next season. The Chicago Sun-Times previously reported that Boylen is as good as gone; now the publication has identified his potential successor — current Philadelphia 76ers assistant and former NBA player Ime Udoka.
The Sun-Times‘ Joe Cowley reported on June 5 that Udoka is the top choice of Bulls Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas and General Manager Marc Eversley to lead and develop their young team.
According to Cowley another former player, Toronto Raptors assistant and one-time Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin, is also under consideration.
When asked about Boylen’s status with the team during a Friday Zoom meeting with the media, Bulls guard Zach LaVine played it coy, deferring to upper management and stating his belief that Boylen has done the best job he can as coach.
“It’s not for me to judge somebody. I think [Boylen] goes out there and does his best. I don’t think anyone in this organization or the NBA goes out there and tries to fail.”
LaVine continued: “Decisions on things like that, I leave that up to higher management. That’s not my role in the organization.”
Veteran forward Thaddeus Young offered a similar response.
Boylen became the Bulls’ coach during the 2018-19 season after Fred Hoiberg was relieved of his head coaching duties in the wake of a 5-19 start. Over parts of two seasons directing the team, he’s compiled a 39-84 record with a.317 winning percentage.
Udoka, meanwhile, played in the league for seven years before joining the coaching ranks. He later served as an assistant under San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich from 2012-19 before joining Philadelphia last June.
When the NBA resumes its season later this summer following a pandemic-induced suspension of play, the Bulls won’t be part of the action. Before the league pressed the proverbial pause button in March, the team was in 11th place in the Eastern Conference; only teams within striking distance of a playoff spot will join those currently holding postseason positioning when the season is restarted.
The Bulls aren’t the only team considering a transition to a new coach. As reported previously by The Inquisitr, the New York Knicks could move on from interim head coach Mike Miller and are considering former Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves headman Tom Thibodeau for the job.