Jim Boylen’s tenure as the Chicago Bulls’ interim head coach been marked by near-mutiny from his own players and rarely-seen open mocking from other teams, but also: the actual basketball has been really shitty. The Bulls are 5-13 under Boylen, a hair better than their 5-19 start under possible future Timberwolves coach Fred Hoiberg.
It’s hard to tell where the Chicago Bulls’ cheapness ends and their fetish for unbearable taskmasters begins, but owner Jerry Reinsdorf is notorious for both. Boylen meets the requirements. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Bulls are bumping him from $800,000 to $1.6 million for this season and $1 million to $1.6 million for 2019-20, with $1 million guaranteed for next year. Even with a doubled salary, Boylen would be one of the lowest-paid head coaches in the NBA.
While Woj says that the move would give “the franchise financial flexibility should it decide to make a coaching change in the offseason,” that change isn’t coming. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that:
When he was promoted, Boylen was working under his associate head-coaching deal, which paid him just more than $800,000 for the rest of this season and through next season. The Sun-Times reported that Boylen was betting on himself to earn that increase, at least for 2019-20.
The front office appreciated the gesture because it would be paying the remainder of Hoiberg’s $5 million salary this season and another $5 million next season.
Board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has never been a fan of handing out dead money to former coaches, let alone paying two coaches. So it’s hard to imagine Boylen being removed at the end of the season and the Bulls taking on the salary of a new hire, as well.
After a 5-7 “burst” under Boylen, the Bulls have fully reverted to their old, crappy selves under his tutelage. They lost to the Warriors by 37 last night; they lost to the Magic by 28 last week. They have one win since Christmas. I look forward to Boylen taking over the Timberwolves in 2023.