Chicago’s front office has remained stagnant for a third consecutive NBA trade deadline. Thirty months without a trade for a player and only one deal in their last 41 months of management, one has to wonder how long the leash is for a group that’s gone nine games under .500 since Lonzo Ball’s injury over two years ago. In the 173 games since losing their point guard, the Bulls have only won 47.3% of their outings and have one postseason victory to show for it. How long can the phrase “continuity” continue to be the fallback for repeatedly poor decisions regarding this roster and the future?
Karnisovas Has Final Say
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, there’s only one man to point the finger at following another embarrassing trade deadline week without any trades for the ninth-place Chicago Bulls. Although the entire front office is involved in the process of transactions, Arturas Karnisovas has the power to veto or commit to any deals, a power that no one else in that group possesses.
Since arriving in Chicago, Karnisovas’s track record has had more concerning moves than impressive ones. Acquiring DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball were some of his best, along with extending Coby White this offseason to one of the best contract extensions leaguewide. Drafting Patrick Williams fourth overall, over Tyrese Maxey or Tyrese Haliburton, and resigning a guard with two All-Star appearances, zero All-NBA selections, and one playoff victory to a top-15 salary in the NBA were two of his ugliest. Standing pat for a third straight season with a 24-27 record will add to his list of questionable calls. The remainder of this season will likely determine Karnisovas’s job status, especially given that ownership granted and encouraged a rebuild, a route he opted not to take in favor of remaining in the Play-In Tournament hunt.
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Chicago sports news delivered to your inbox every morning.
Immediate Anger From The Fans
It’s hard to describe the direct backlash the Chicago Bulls are receiving right now from the fans and the NBA world. Everyone from Chicago’s sideline reporters to casual fans are lashing out across social media at the continued mediocrity within the Bulls’ organization. Most expected Andre Drummond’s expiring contract to be shipped to a contender at the minimum, but zero trades for a third straight trade deadline is flat-out shameful.
Missing the playoffs this year will almost certainly result in a new front-office staff. This regime has not traded for a player in nearly three calendar years despite a 1-4 playoff record and a sub .500 record over their last three seasons. It’s hard to find this level of organizational incompetence across all sports, let alone a storied city and franchise at the level of the Chicago Bulls.
Arturas Karnisovas is about to feel the entire weight of Chicago’s faithful if they fail to reach postseason play for a third time in four years since his arrival. Will he survive much longer without making significant changes, and does the Bulls’ ownership trust him to undergo another rebuild?