Last year, it was Scott Skiles. This year, it's John Paxson.
This morning, the New York Post's Peter Vecsey reported, and the Chicago Sun-Times confirmed, that Paxson will soon resign from his post as Bulls GM, whether before the trade deadline or at the end of the season. The Bulls have yet to confirm the report.
If true, it means that the last front office vestiges of the mini-Baby Bulls era -- when the Bulls focused on drafting successful college players and building a cohesive team core -- is over. Reports have assistant GM Gar Forman taking over for Paxson, while Vecsey is reporting that Doug Collins, who the Bulls considered hiring as head coach this past offseason, would take over as either coach or GM or both.
Firing Paxson around the trade deadline would seem to mean that Paxson failed to make a deal for any of the big trade bait on the market, including Amare Stoudemire, who has been linked to the Bulls in trade talks for weeks. Paxson stockpiled talent throughout his regime, but failed to turn any of it into a superstar.
Paxson's era was marked by some overacheivement, but also by consistent frustration. Scott Skiles was fired last year after getting the Bulls to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since the Jordan era in 2006-07. This time, it's Paxson's turn.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.