The Chicago Bulls have hired Pat Connelly and JJ Polk, naming Connelly as Vice President of Player Personnel and Polk as Assistant General Manager.
Connelly will primarily be responsible for the structure and processes of the scouting department.
Polk will primarily be responsible for strategic planning and salary cap management, in addition to being involved in all player personnel matters.
“Pat and JJ both bring valuable experience that will enhance our basketball operations department,” said Arturas Karnisovas, Bulls Executive Vice President – Basketball Operations. “I know that the skills these two possess will be an asset in building out our program. JJ’s expertise with cap management and negotiations will help us be creative in our deals and contracts, while Pat’s great eye for talent, global contacts and networking capabilities will organize our scouting department in a productive way. Combined, these two basketball minds will help increase functionality and implement our vision of moving this program forward.”
Per the Chicago Sun-Times, “the Bulls announced last week that Marc Eversley was named general manager, bringing the number of front office hires to three for Karnisovas. Expect that number to grow, as the plan all along has been to build out each department in the front office, as well as adding depth to each one.”
Connelly was most recently the Director of Pro Personnel with the Denver Nuggets, a position he held for one season in 2019-20. Prior to his time in Denver, Connelly spent five seasons with the Phoenix Suns as Assistant General Manager from 2013-18 and seven seasons with the Washington Wizards from 2006-13. He joined the Wizards as a part-time advance scout and worked his way to Director of Player Personnel, becoming one of the team’s top scouts for college and international play. Prior to his time in the NBA, Connelly was a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball team at Baylor University from 2004-06, where he also earned a master’s degree in speech communication. He earned his undergraduate degree in business from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2002. Connelly spent one season as an assistant coach on Nick Nurse’s staff for the Brighton Bears of the British Basketball League in the 2003-04 season, helping guide the team to the league title.
Polk joins the Bulls after spending 10 seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, most recently as Executive Director of Basketball Administration. He was initially hired to the Pelicans as the Director of Player Contracts and Basketball Administration, working two seasons in that role from 2010-12. Before joining the NBA, Polk practiced law at Bryan Cave LLP for six years as an associate in the Real Estate and Banking Practice Group. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law. As an undergraduate at Rice University, Polk earned a political science and managerial studies degree. He played professional basketball in Sweden, Latvia and China from 1997-2000.