Just over 22 years after Jerry Krause originally hired him as a Bulls scout, Gar Forman is returning to his roots.
Forman will join the New Orleans Pelicans' front office as a special advisor to David Griffin, the franchise's executive vice president of basketball operations, with a focus on scouting, two sources confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago. Forman, who also will work with general manager Trajan Langdon, had his nearly 22-year run with the Bulls end in April when Artūras Karnišovas took over for John Paxson and fired him with two years left on his contract.
Forman came to the Bulls from Iowa State at the same time as Tim Floyd and rose through the scouting ranks, serving as director of player personnel before the Bulls promoted him to general manager in May 2009. In his second season in that role, Forman tied with the Miami Heat's Pat Riley as co-Executive of the Year in voting by their peers.
Though Paxson always sat above him on the Bulls' organizational structure and the front office worked in a collaborative style, the drafting of Taj Gibson at No. 26 in 2009 and Jimmy Butler at No. 30 in 2011 are listed on Forman's resume in the franchise's media guide. That 2011 draft proved especially fortuitous for the Bulls. Despite coming off an Eastern Conference finals appearance, they still managed to land Butler and Nikola Mirotić, whose rights were acquired in a draft-day deal using the 28th pick, Norris Cole.
"I've always loved scouting," Forman once said in an interview. "I enjoy the patience and persistence of it and trying to envision how players fit together."
When Karnišovas made his decision to sever ties with Forman, Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf praised Forman in a statement.
"Gar worked tirelessly for the Chicago Bulls organization, first as a scout and then as an executive," Reinsdorf said. "He made many significant contributions during his time here and helped to bring some of the brightest young basketball talent to our team, from Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson to Jimmy Butler and Coby White. He has been a trusted advisor and friend to me over the years, and on behalf of everyone I want to thank him for his commitment to the organization. Gar will always be a part of our Bulls family."
Now, he's a part of the Pelicans' family. Forman, whose news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, has long had a strong relationship with and mutual respect for Griffin.