CHICAGO – The Bulls and coach Jim Boylen have agreed to a contract extension.
Boylen was already under contract for next season when the Bulls promoted him from assistant coach to take over for the fired Fred Hoiberg in December. They never gave him the interim tag.
Executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said at the end of the season that Boylen would likely get an extension. The Bulls made it official on Friday, though they did not announce the length or financial terms.
"Jim has a strong vision on where he wants to take this team, and he has done a great job establishing the culture that we want this organization to stand for as we continue to progress," Paxson said in a statement. "He has tremendous passion for developing young talent, is a strong communicator and a good fit for this team. The organization is confident in the direction that he is taking our players, and we are committed to him."
The Bulls went 22-60 in the second year of their rebuild and finished with one of the worst records in franchise history. They were 5-19 when Hoiberg got fired and went 17-41 the rest of the way under Boylen.
His first week was a rocky one with a team-record 56-point blowout loss and a few players raising the possibility of boycotting practice the following day after back-to-back games. Instead, there was a team meeting and a session with coaches and management. And Boylen started to connect with players.
The Bulls believe they have the makings of a promising foundation with Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. The Bulls figure to get a high draft pick, though they have just a 12.5% chance to win the lottery.