The NBA is expected to approve the 22-team “bubble’’ in Orlando for the restart of the 2019-20 season, and those plans won’t include the Bulls. That means it’s time for some tough decisions to be made with the coaching staff.
The Bulls will likely have their 2019-20 season officially put to sleep on Thursday, but on Wednesday at least came some further clarity.
Multiple reports indicated that the NBA is set to approve the 22-team “bubble’’ down in Orlando, which would involve eight regular-season games to finalize playoff seedings, a play-in tournament to determine the No. 8 seeds, and even the teams invited.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, New Orleans, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento and San Antonio will be added from the Western Conference, while Washington will be grabbed from the Eastern Conference, joining the 16 teams that were holding playoff spots when the coronavirus shut the league down back in March.
The NBA’s Board of Governors is expected to approve that format at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
If it’s approved, the season would resume on July 31, and go all the way to Oct. 12, if a Finals Game 7 was needed. That undoubtedly means that the 2020-21 season would not tip-off until the end of December, as has been the speculation.
What it all means for the 2020 NBA Draft is still yet to be decided.
What the Bulls know? They need not pack for Orlando.
The Advocate Center was reopened for the first time on Wednesday, as players were welcomed back for voluntary workouts and treatment.
What the Bulls can focus on now, however, will be new executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas getting his eyes on players, as well as the interaction they have with the current coaching staff.
Karnisovas has met with players and staff in Zoom meetings since bring handed the keys to the organization’s rebuild, but admittedly wanted to gather more information with actual face-to-face interaction.
What most of the fan base is focused on, however, will be the decision on head coach Jim Boylen and the coaching staff.
The Sun-Times has reported several times over the last few weeks that Boylen’s fate was all but sealed, with Karnisovas and new general manager Marc Eversley hearing enough mixed results from players and other personnel on Boylen to make the case that they want their own guy in that coaching seat.
Ownership has indicated that they liked Boylen, but multiple sources told the paper that they would absolutely stand in the background for the new front office to have the final say.