Johnson: Bulls' turmoil big obstacle

Updated: April 16, 2010, 4:40 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bulls have to "clean up" the problems within the organization before they can expect to attract a high-profile free agent and potentially a new head coach, former Dallas Mavericks coach and current ESPN analyst Avery Johnson said Friday.

Conflicting reports came out this week about a physical altercation between executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and head coach Vinny Del Negro after a March 30 game. One report said Paxson initiated the contact and another claims Del Negro was the aggressor in an argument over playing time for Joakim Noah, who was recovering from plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Whatever happened, Johnson said the public perception of the organization is working against it in recruiting.

"First of all, Vinny Del Negro is still the coach, but if there is a change made I don't think any coach that is really credible that has a good track record or a free agent would want to go in there with the type of turbulence that's there now," Johnson said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "They would probably have to clean up a few situations and get some things in order before a coach or high-profile free agent would want to join in. Right now, just hearing what we've all heard in the media, it doesn't smell good or look good, and that doesn't bode well for any organization."

Johnson, who went 194-70 in three-plus seasons with the Mavericks, was asked if he was interested in the Bulls job if Del Negro is fired.

"You will listen to a conversation, but from hearing what we've all heard in the media about some internals situations, I don't think anybody would want to go into that same situation under that type of duress," Johnson said. "There would have to be a lot of things that would have to be addressed, not just with me but with a lot of coaches that are looking to get back into the NBA."

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