Toronto Raptors

Report: Chicago Bulls looking for new 'top executive,' eyeing Toronto Raptors general manager Bobby Webster

Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster [NBA Getty Images]

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Chicago Bulls have begun their search for a new "top executive with full authority on basketball decisions."

Wojnarowski added that Bulls ownership has discussed this plan with executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman. Paxson is likely to continue in an advisory role with the franchise, but there are expected to be more conversations with Forman about his future.

The two names that Wojnarowski said the Bulls will begin their search process with: Toronto Raptors GM Bobby Webster and Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas, "among other candidates."

The Bulls plan to ask both the Raptors and Nuggets for their permission to speak with their respective general managers, as well as several other candidates in hopes to "have new leadership well before the league resumes play following the NBA's shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic."

Chicago currently sits in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 22-43. The Bulls are set to miss the playoffs with a losing record for the third consecutive year and have not made it past the first round of the postseason since 2015.

Their attraction to Webster and Karnisovas makes plenty of sense given the success each GM has had over the past few seasons.

Joining Toronto's front office in 2013, Webster took over the Raptors' GM duties in 2017 when Masai Ujiri was elevated to president of basketball operations. He played a role in making the big trade for Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and the trade that brought in Marc Gasol, as well as drafting All-Star forward Pascal Siakam.

In his first season as GM, Toronto won a franchise-record 59 games, which was followed by the first title in franchise history in 2019.

As for Karnisovas, he's had his hand in turning the Nuggets into the Western Conference contenders they are today. Like Webster's career path, he joined Denver's staff in 2013 and was promoted to GM in 2017 when Tim Connelly was bumped up to president.

Karnisovas played a role in selecting All-Star centre Nikola Jokic in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft and the Nuggets have improved every season since taking over as GM, on pace for their second-consecutive 50-win season this year.

According to Wojnarowski, interviews will start next week and will be conducted electronically.

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