The Chicago Bulls front office could be facing change amid another losing season as general manager Marc Eversley reportedly has drawn interest from the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets on Monday announced the beginning of a search for a new president, with current general manager and president Mitch Kupchak planning to move into an advisory position once his replacement is determined.
According to reports by the Chicago Sun-Times and The Athletic, Eversley is one of the top three candidates for the role with Philadelphia 76ers GM Elton Brand and New Orleans Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon. Eversley previously interviewed for the position in 2018 when Kupchak was hired.
This hiring process follows a year of upheaval for the Hornets after majority ownership of the team transferred in August from Michael Jordan to Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin for a $3 billion price tag.
So what does this mean for the Bulls?
Most of the blame — and, occasionally, credit — levied at the Bulls front office typically lands at the feet of executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas, who has final say over every aspect of the Bulls roster. But despite rarely being in the public eye, Eversley is a crucial figure in the front office as the right hand to Karnišovas, providing input and guidance on roster construction, player development and trade decisions.
The Bulls hired Eversley in 2020 just weeks after announcing the addition of Karnišovas. Eversley became the first Black general manager in the history of the franchise, which previously came under fire for failing to interview a single Black candidate for Karnišovas’ position.
Over the ensuing four years, the pair’s tenure has been defined by an attempted rebuild around Zach LaVine that brought DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vučević, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso to Chicago. The Bulls have finished above .500 only once since Karnišovas and Eversley took over, logging one playoff win and one play-in tournament win in that span.
Eversley has a wide range of experience that includes landing some deep-cut draft picks with the 76ers front office, persuading Bryan Colangelo to draft DeRozan for the Toronto Raptors and logging a decade with Nike. His abilities to scout talent and develop player relations are the two assets most widely cited throughout his career.
Despite the difficulties the Bulls have faced on the court, the Hornets position would be a different undertaking for Eversley. The franchise is known across the league for being relatively uncompetitive in scouting and player infrastructure, which has limited the team’s ability to acquire players in free agency.
The Hornets likely will be looking for a new head coach this summer as they flounder through an injury-plagued 11-41 season under Steve Clifford. They already began the initial steps of restructuring the roster around LaMelo Ball by trading away Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and P.J. Washington before the deadline. And the franchise is pursuing major investments, such as a $275 million renovation of its arena and the construction of a new practice facility.
If Eversley is selected to take on this new challenge, it would shake up a Bulls front office that came under fire last week for standing pat at a third consecutive trade deadline.
While Karnišovas has been the ultimate decision maker in electing not to trade for any players since August 2021, Eversley’s influence has been key in the front office’s patient and methodical approach. His departure wouldn’t redefine the identity of the Bulls front office, but it would shift the conversation in the room when decisions are made.
Julia Poe , 2024-02-13 00:58:34