Bulls changes continue with team moving on from Chip Schaefer

Longtime trainer Chip Schaefer saw his second stint with the Bulls come to an end on Monday.

Sun-Times file

Arturas Karnisovas wasn’t kidding when he said a “close examination” of the entire organization was going to take place this offseason.

So far, that examination has seen assistant coach Chris Fleming pushed out of his gig, assistant coach Maurice Cheeks opting out of his full-time bench role to possibly take another position and now on Monday, Bulls public relations confirming that the franchise has moved on from Director of Performance Health Chip Schaefer.

It was Schaefer’s second stint with the Bulls, rejoining the team during the 2016-17 season. He was with the Bulls during their six NBA Championships as the head athletic trainer, as well as with the Lakers during their five titles in the 1986-87 season and then 1999-2011.

In his last seven seasons in LA, Schaefer was promoted to the team’s Director of Athletic Performance/Player Development.

Could that be it for Karnisovas and the cleanup job he all but promised? Hardly.

“It goes without saying that the conclusion of the season fell short of expectations, regardless of injury status,” Karnisovas said last week. “Any season where we don’t end deep into the postseason requires close examination, which has already begun.”

The Bulls will start addressing the roster build throughout the month of May, and that’s really where the focus should start. The Sun-Times, as well as multiple media outlets, have reported that trying to move off the Zach LaVine max contract would be priority No. 1, as well as finding common ground on a DeMar DeRozan extension.

There has been growing speculation that the Bulls could also explore the trade market on Nikola Vucevic, but it will be difficult to move the center based on the days of the middle-class contract (Vucevic’s deal is $20 million per year) becoming extinct with the new CBA.

If there was one department in the Bulls organization that can sleep well this offseason, however, it is the front office.

“I feel really good about the front office,” Karnisovas replied when asked about possible changes there. “By me sitting here and saying that we need to make changes and improve, I think they’re all going to work extremely hard. I have total confidence in them coming up and being creative.”

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