CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls have hired Philadelphia 76ers executive Marc Eversley to replace the fired Gar Forman as general manager and work under new top basketball executive Arturas Karnisovas, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move hadn’t been announced. ESPN first reported the hiring.
Eversley, a Canadian, becomes the Bulls’ first black general manager after four years in Philadelphia’s front office — the past two as senior vice president of player personnel.
He spent a decade at Nike, managing company-owned retail stores in Ontario before moving to their corporate office in Oregon and becoming the point person for their basketball player relationship division. He then worked in Toronto’s front office for seven years and Washington’s for three before joining the 76ers.
Eversley had a big hand in Philadelphia trading up with Boston to get Matisse Thybulle with the No. 20 overall pick in the draft last June. The rookie guard established himself as one of the NBA’s best young defenders this season.
Now, Eversley will work with Karnisovas to help turn around a sagging franchise.
The Bulls came into the season thinking they were poised to contend for a playoff spot. Instead, they were 11th in the Eastern Conference at 22-43 and on the way to their third straight losing record when the NBA suspended play because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bulls hired Karnisovas as executive vice president of basketball operations 2 1/2 weeks ago, convincing him to leave his job as GM of the Denver Nuggets. They believe making the move then rather than waiting until the season resumed or got called off gave him more time to evaluate the organization.
John Paxson shifted into an advisory role after nearly two decades leading the front office as general manager and then vice president of basketball operations. A few days after Karnisovas agreed to take the job, the Bulls fired Forman, who had been the GM since 2009 and joined the organization as a scout in 1998.
Karnisovas has since been assembling his staff, hiring New Orleans salary-cap specialist J.J. Polk and Denver player-personnel director Pat Connelly for front-office positions. Now that his general manager is in place, he has another important decision to make.
That would be whether to keep coach Jim Boylen. With a 39-84 record since replacing Fred Hoiberg early last year, he could be on shaky ground.
Though Zach LaVine was averaging a career-high 25.5 points, Lauri Markkanen’s scoring and rebounding dipped in his third season. The 7-footer from Finland was averaging 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds — down from 18.7 and 9.0. Rookie Coby White had come on strong before play was stopped and was averaging 13.2 points after being drafted with the No. 7 pick.