Times are changing for the Chicago Bulls, as they’ve announced that they are relieving current general manager, Gar Forman of all duties, after 22 years in the Windy City.
Forman, who served as general manager for over two decades, was named general manager of the Bulls in 2009 after he had spent over a decade with the organization, playing a part in many roles such as scout, director of player personnel, and many others. Inheriting the position following the first real drought the Bulls experienced since the departure of the Jordan/Pippen era, Gar was arguably put in a terrible position to win the city of Chicago back. After a .500 season in 2009-10, Forman was able to help the Bulls achieve a 62-20 record in 2010-11 behind an MVP season from Derrick Rose. He was awarded the 2011 NBA Executive of the Year, while head coach Tom Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year. Things were finally starting to click in Chicago again.
From 2008-2015, Forman was able to lead his team to the playoffs, including winning 50+ games three times (2010-11, 11-12, and 14-15). However, the last five seasons have been nothing but awful for a team that’s enshrined in NBA history. They’ve missed the playoffs four out of the last five seasons (counting 2019-20) and haven’t been able to hit the 30-win mark since 2016-17. Forman has been at the forefront of the blame, as many have criticized his poor decision making in recent NBA Drafts, as well as his inability to draw talent to a major market in the free agency periods.
While acquiring an impressive list of names over the years (Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah, and Zach LaVine to name a few), the Bulls have not had their shortage of questionable moves in the last few years.
Highly criticized moves that are still headscratchers today include (but are not limited to):
– signing Jabari Parker to a $40 million, two-year contract and then trading him to the Wizards midseason in 2018
– reportedly shopping Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine two years after acquiring them in the Jimmy Butler deal (Chicago had matched a four-year, $78 million offer for LaVine just one year prior)
– trading two first-round picks (who turned out to be Gary Harris/Jusuf Nurkic) for Anthony Rudolph and Doug McDermott
– drafting first-round picks Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen are moves that have shown promise but aren’t quite off the hook yet
Even though things in Chicago didn’t end how Forman probably would have wanted, he had a good run with the Bulls, and he acknowledged as much in his own statement –
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work for the Chicago Bulls for more than two decades. There is no better ownership group in professional sports than the Reinsdorfs, and I want to thank Jerry and Michael for their support during my tenure. The Bulls organization will always hold a special place in my heart.