Report: Bulls to hire Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas as next VP of basketball operations

The Chicago Bulls officially offered Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas their top executive job on Wednesday night.

The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a deal to make Arturas Karnisovas the franchise’s next executive vice president of basketball operations, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Karnisovas is in his third season as the general manager for the Denver Nuggets, and his seventh with the franchise overall. He was instrumental in acquiring several key players for the organization in recent years, including Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and more.

He has also held front office positions with the NBA and the Houston Rockets. The Lithuanian played six years professionally in Europe after an impressive college stint at Seton Hall, and was named FIBA’s Player of the Year in 1996 with Barcelona.

Karnisovas had a “lengthy” virtual interview with Bulls chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf on Tuesday, per Wojnarowski, and Reinsdorf even introduced him to his father, Jerry, on Wednesday for another interview. Jerry, per the report, gave his “blessing” to offer Karnisovas the job.

According to Wojnarowski, Bulls president John Paxson — who had been running basketball operations since 2003 — is expected to move into an advisory role in the near future. Karnisovas is expected to hire a new general manager in Chicago to replace Gar Forman, too.

The Bulls have compiled just one winning season since coach Tom Thibodeau was fired after the 2015-16 season and made the playoffs once. They held a 22-43 record this year before the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team reportedly also interviewed Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik, former Atlanta Hawks general managers Danny Ferry and Wes Wilcox and longtime league executive Bryan Colangelo, among others, for the position.

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