Rookie center Daniel Gafford expressed his belief that Boylen has "got some things he can get better at as a person and as a coach." Gafford made the comment on his personal Twitch stream Monday afternoon as he played 2K and took questions from those in the chat room.
"I’m going to answer this question, but I’m not going to read it out," Gafford said. "As a matter of fact, I will read it out. Do you like Jim Boylen? He aight. I don’t like him a lot, but he OK. Got some things he can work on, got some things he can get better at as a person and as a coach. I’m not going to hate on him. I’m not going to hate the man."
New Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas hasn't revealed whether he'll retain Boylen or fire him. The Bulls are in an odd place of sorts, as they were left out of the NBA's 22-team restart in Orlando but are still hoping they could have some organized team activities before the usual training camp commences for the 2020-'21 season. Hired in mid-April, Karnisovas has expressed his desire to get to know Boylen and watch him work in person, but the Bulls haven't had that opportunity with many players away from the facility and Chicago amid the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA is considering having a second bubble environment for the eight teams left out of the restart, which could potentially allow Boylen to work under the watchful eye of Karnisovas.
After being hired, Karnisovas and new general manager Marc Eversley both preached the importance of the Bulls being a player-friendly and player-first organization. In meetings with players, Karnisovas and Eversley have received mixed feedback on Boylen, according to the Sun-Times and other reports. Boylen publicly clashed with Bulls leading scorer Zach LaVine on one notable occasion last November, and big man Lauri Markkanen also expressed disappointment in how he was being utilized in the offense.
Gafford, 21, averaged 5.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.2 minutes as a rookie, when he established himself as a strong presence on the second unit.