The Bulls are planning changes to their management structure this offseason and have spent weeks gathering input on potential additions for what one source described as “an empowered presence.”
And while a team source insisted the process is in the early stages, multiple league sources indicated one name is gaining momentum---Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan. In fact, one source described Buchanan as "a top target."
The Pacers hired Buchanan, 46, when they promoted Kevin Pritchard to president of basketball operations in 2017. Buchanan arrived from Charlotte, where he spent three seasons with Michael Jordan’s Hornets as assistant general manager under Rich Cho. Previously, he spent 10 seasons with the Trail Blazers, where he also worked closely with Pritchard.
In Portland, Buchanan worked primarily as a director of college scouting. However, he served as interim general manager for the 2011-12 season after the Trail Blazers fired Cho, who had replaced Pritchard.
The Trail Blazers drafted Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge when Buchanan and Pritchard worked together. Buchanan swung the trade of Gerald Wallace to the Nets for a first-round pick that new Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey used on Damian Lillard.
Buchanan is widely known for his embrace of analytics.
If the Bulls ask for and receive permission to interview Buchanan, his longstanding working relationship with Pritchard would seemingly indicate an ability to mesh with Bulls executive vice president John Paxson. As previously reported, ownership still values Paxson’s leadership and vision for the direction of the franchise. Paxson long has publicly stated he's willing to accept any role the franchise thinks is best for the Bulls.
The specific structure for the expected front office changes hasn’t been finalized, according to a source. The Bulls also are planning an overhaul of the scouting department, which is expected to grow. Current general manager Gar Forman is expected to be offered the opportunity to remain in the organization as a scout.