Bulls coach Jim Boylen

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Bernstein: Boylen Explains Why Bulls Can't Attract Star

Jim Boylen isn't exactly helping the Bulls become a destination for stars.

Dan Bernstein
February 06, 2019 - 2:40 pm
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(670 The Score) Bulls coach Jim Boylen is on the record with his preference that he only wants the kind of free agents who really want to be here in Chicago, representing the organization and the name on the front of the jersey with effort and intensity and some lame military reference and derp.

It's the pro version of the spurned college lament after seeing a blue-chip recruit sign elsewhere, the embittered townies saying they didn't want that five-star kid anyway, because he didn't ever love them enough.

Boylen was asked about that stance again Tuesday, with upcoming free agency top of mind as Anthony Davis is in town with the Pelicans. The Bulls are ready to spend this offseason, but the pursuit of top talent is already off to a moribund start with the news that Davis has no interest in committing to play for his hometown team. Even the likes of Lakers wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have soured on Chicago, as he reportedly balked on approving trade to the Bulls for Jabari Parker. No national NBA reporter of any repute has described the Bulls as a destination now or into this summer, and NBC Sports Chicago reporter Kelly Crull wanted to know how hard it was for Boylen to keep hearing that nobody wants to play here.

He started out fine, then said the quiet part out loud.

"I mean, we've got a great franchise and ownership and management," Boylen said. "We've got a great facility, we've got all the bells and whistles of a big city. We've got a young, developing team."

Fine to that point. Nice sales pitch. But Boylen continued.

"I think ... there's a phenomenon now that's going on where there's a ready-made team, so (the player thinks) 'I can win and be part of a winner,'" Boylen said. "I think that's more about it than anything else -- 'Let's go where there are some established pieces that I can maybe help and we can get, you know, play in the playoffs and go to the finals.'"

And then if there were any remaining doubt about at what he was hinting, Boylen brought it home with authority. He didn't ever really give his feelings about it, but he sure described everything aptly.

"I think that's more of it than anything else," Boylen went on. "You know, we're not in that position right now, so from that standpoint I can understand why he'd want to go somewhere where they can play deep in the playoffs."

Oh.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​​