The Chicago Bulls need to hit the restart button on the entire franchise. From the front office to the coaches down to some of the players, there isn’t much to be happy about when rooting for one of the league’s most famous franchises.
One decision that has left many people scratching their heads was the appointment of interim head coach Jim Boylen into the full-time position. Fans and members of the media questioned this decision, as Boylen clearly seems to be a match made in hell for the current Bulls roster.
After the team fires Fred Hoiberg, Boylen quickly rubbed players the wrong way. Hoiberg was not viewed as a players coach by any means, but he also was not seen as a tough disciplinarian. There seemed to be no control over players, and that led to several members of the team asking for trades during his time as head coach. However, naming Jim Boylen as the head coach just proves the Bulls don’t care about being a successful team on the court. Putting Boylen in charge is a disaster and how it can hurt the franchise even more going forward.
Regular season results
After taking over for Fred Hoiberg, Jim Boylen coached the Bulls to a 22-60 regular season. That resulted in the team receiving the No. 7 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Boylen didn’t seem to get along with any of the younger players on the team. He is a very strict disciplinarian, and his players endured grueling practices, and Boylen’s coaching style didn’t go over well.
Player mutiny against Jim Boylen
The Bulls scheduled a practice on the morning of December 10, 2018, when a majority of the members of the roster decided not to go to the practice due to the extreme tactics of their new coach.
During his first week on the job, he scheduled practices lasting two and three hours. Most teams don’t have grueling sessions like that during the season. The friction in the locker room increased over the season, and several players including rookie Wendell Carter Junior have been outspoken at the intensity of the team practices.
How long until the Bulls reach the playoffs?
Since Jimmy Butler left town, the Chicago Bulls have not made the playoffs, and it doesn’t look like they will any time soon. Even with LeBron James in the Western Conference, there are still several teams that are light years ahead of the Bulls, including the lower seeded teams in the playoffs this year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is an MVP in the making, and he and the Milwaukee Bucks should be locks for the postseason for several years. The rising Brooklyn Nets could be the next team to contend in the East. Toronto can make a compelling argument to keep Kawhi Leonard in town. Even the hapless New York Knicks could turn things around in free agency, or by swinging a trade for Anthony Davis.
It may take four or five seasons before the Bulls return to the playoffs, and even then it will only be because of excellent roster construction, which hasn’t been a priority of the franchise the better part of this decade.
The trade of Jimmy Butler that brought Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine to the roster. Or the extension given to LaVine. Or signing Jabari Parker, we can go on and on at the poor moves the Bulls have made recently.
They seem to have struck it rich with their last two first round picks in Wendell Carter Junior (10 points and seven rebounds per game as a rookie) and Lauri Markkanen, who could potentially be a 20 and 10 player down the line. They will have to find another starter in this draft class to keep the roster improving at a steady pace. However, finding a bonafide starter at No. 7 in a thin 2019 draft is easier said than done.
Is winning really a priority for the Chicago Bulls?
In any case, keeping Jim Boylen as the coach proves the Chicago Bulls don’t care all that much about winning. His old-school techniques don’t mesh well with today’s young players, and though he has a lot of NBA coaching experience, he has just one season as a head coach.
Plus, Fred Hoiberg was the hand-picked coach of executives John Paxson and Gar Forman, and that didn’t work out well. Fans can’t have much faith that the Gar-Pax duo will get it right with Boylen at the helm.
Chicago has struggled to find any continuity over the last couple of seasons, and we strongly believe it could be a few years before it is back in contention with the Eastern Conference’s elite teams. Will the Chicago Bulls be a playoff team next year? They could be, but it might be in spite of Jim Boylen and the front office, and not because of them.