Amid weekly releases of The Last Dance series, the current Chicago Bulls are finding ways to steal some coverage from the 90s Bulls, as they continue to reshape their front office. After naming Arturas Karnisovas as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, making him responsible for all decisions in their basketball operations department, the Bulls have hired a new general manager.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the story about 76ers’ Marc Eversley becoming the Bulls’ new GM. Canadian native Eversley makes history as the first African-American GM in the organization’s history. He will participate in the overhaul of the franchise along with people Karnisovas has already reached an agreement with.
“Eversley, who is leaving his position as vice president of player personnel for the Philadelphia 76ers, joins the Bulls after Karnisovas reached agreements with J.J. Polk as an assistant general manager with expertise in salary cap management and Pat Connelly in a player personnel role”Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN
Eversley was near the top of the Bulls’ list of potential candidates for the job. He started his career at Nike, working in their corporate office, which allowed him to build relationships with players. He then joined the Toronto Raptors as a player development assistant, and eventually ended up as a Vice President of College Scouting in 2013. Later on, he became the Vice President of Scouting for the Washington Wizards before joining the Philadelphia 76ers in 2016 as the vice president of player personnel and getting promoted to a senior role in 2018.
He did a great job as a part of the Sixers organization. Eversley was responsible for drafting Matisse Thybulle, a promising young player and already great NBA defender. He was also the one who pulled the trigger on the Markelle Fultz trade to the Orlando Magic and was involved in the completion of a blockbuster trade with the Clippers in which the Sixers acquired Tobias Harris. Eversley also helped the Sixers land Jimmy Butler in a trade with the Timberwolves, and after reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals and later on, shipping him off to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade deal which acquired them a 3nD SG in Josh Richardson. But one of his first responsibilities was deciding who to take as a number 1 in the 2016 NBA draft. Eversley pulled a trigger on Ben Simmons, who later on won the Rookie of the Year award and is still the foundation of the franchise along with Joel Embiid.
The hiring of Marc Eversley marks the continuation of Bulls’ front office remake after it was led by John Paxson and former GM Gar Forman. Karnisovas was brought to change things around the organization, and with the hiring of Eversley, he is doing just that, hoping that his background in scouting will help them build the franchise up to the level it used to be at.
Karnisovas & Eversley seem like an excellent tandem to do something GarPax talked about but never did – patiently develop and implement a long-term plan. Chicago was never really a free-agent destination. Building a team through the draft takes time and dedication. According to Eversley, the Bulls have a lot to do in that department.
“I really believe winning starts from a foundation of player development. I was surprised to find there was one player development coach on the staff as I was doing my research for this job. That’s a helluva job for one person to take on.”Mark Eversley, via K.C. Johnson
My first instinct was to rant about GarPax, but more I watch “The Last Dance,” more I develop a feeling Jerry Reinsdorf doesn’t spend unless it’s unavoidable. Hopefully, Karnisovas & Eversley are empowered to implement the changes needed to bring playoff basketball to one of the largest markets in the NBA.