The two sides were reported to be finalizing a multi-year deal late Wednesday night following the Bulls making a formal offer to Karnisovas, who had just completed a second round of interviews for the job.
Karnisovas, 48, will take over for John Paxson, who has been running the Bulls’ basketball operations since 2003, and will have the task of reshaping the organization that has failed to execute a proper rebuild over the past several years, and has not made the playoffs the past two years.
Karnisovas’ history for talent evaluation and strong endorsements from Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke and president of basketball operations Tim Connelly regarding his leadership ultimately won the Bulls over.
Additionally, Karnisovas’ diverse background and his part in the Nuggets’ success in the drafting of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris, impressed the Bulls.
Karnisovas was also lauded for his ability to structure operations, according to the report.
With Karnisovas taking over, Paxon is expected to move into an advisory role, and there will reportedly be discussions with Bulls’ general manager Gar Forman regarding Paxon’s future with the organization.
Bulls chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf led the job search, and had conducted lengthy virtual interviews with Karnisovas. Reinsdorf introduced Karnisovas to his father, Jerry, for additional discussions on Wednesday, and Jerry gave his blessing to offer the job to Karnisovas.
Former Atlanta Hawks’ general manager Wes Wilcox was also interviewed for the position.
Now, Karnisovas will tasked with hiring a new general manager and additional basketball operations and scouting positions as the Bulls look to rebuild for a brighter future.
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