Bulls Finalizing Deal To Make Karnisovas Main Basketball Man

Sam Amico

The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a contract with Arturas Karnisovas that will make him their new executive vice president of basketball operations, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Karnisovas has spent the previous six seasons working in the front office with the Denver Nuggets, serving as general manager under basketball chief Tim Connelly since 2017. 

Per Wojnarowski, the Bulls have offered the position to Karnisovas, with the sides finalizing the terms of the contract.

"Karnisovas will leave Denver for Chicago after helping Tim Connelly and Josh Kroenke to rebuild the Nuggets into a Western Conference contender." Wojnarowski reported.

Others linked to the Bulls' vacancy include Utah GM Justin Zanick, former Atlanta and Cleveland GM Danny Ferry and former two-time Executive of the Year Bryan Colangelo.

Karnisovas will be replacing Bulls GM Gar Forman, whose role prior to the NBA's hiatus had reportedly been reduced to scout. It is unclear if Forman, fellow front-office executive John Paxson or head coach Jim Boylen will be retained once the league resumes.

"As head of basketball operations, Karnisovas will have authority to hire a new general manager and make subsequent hires throughout the organization," reported K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Karnisovas, 48, is a native of Lithuania and played his college ball at Seton Hall under former NBA coach P.J. Carlesimo. As a professional, Karnisovas was chosen as FIBA's European Player of the Year in 1996.

As Johnson reported, Karnisovas will be the first outside hire to run basketball operations since current owner Jerry Reinsdorf bought the Bulls in 1985.

It is unclear when or if the NBA will be able to complete the 2019-20 season as concerns over the coronavirus pandemic continue to linger.

Sam Amico covers pro basketball for SI.com. Follow him @AmicoHoops.