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May 23, 2015 Updates

Van Gundy joins Golden State associate head coach Alvin Gentry and Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau as confirmed candidates for the position, according to NBA coaching sources. Gentry is the only candidate known to have formally interviewed for the post, with sources saying the uncertainty surrounding Thibodeau's contractual situation with the Bulls has prevented the Pelicans and Orlando Magic from formally requesting to interview him. ESPN.com reported Monday that the Pelicans had been granted permission to interview Gentry before the Warriors began play in the Western Conference finals. ESPN.com

The Bulls' coaching history has featured some wild twists and turns. Who can forget Scott Skiles' agent saying in June 2005 that "the way (Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf) does business is insulting" as he exasperatedly called off contract talks and then Skiles signing a three-year extension the next day? Or all signs pointing to Doug Collins returning for a second stint as coach until he and Reinsdorf, citing their friendship, nixed it and Vinny Del Negro arrived in 2008? Things can change unexpectedly in the NBA, though signs continue to point to Thibodeau's exit. What won't change, whenever a conclusion on Thibodeau's future is reached, is Forman saying the decision was made with the best interests of the franchise in mind. Chicago Tribune

But this delay isn't some leverage ploy or negotiating tactic. If the Bulls, whose second-round pick coincidentally is headed to the Magic, wanted a second-round pick, they would buy one. This is, after all, a franchise that ponied up $3 million to move up and acquire Luol Deng's draft rights in 2004 and paid an undisclosed amount to do the same for Nikola Mirotic in 2011. No, this decision is way above getting, say, a second-round pick from the Pelicans or Magic. Especially because sources indicate the Magic's interest in Thibodeau has been way overstated, if not nonexistent to this point. And Yahoo Sports reported the Pelicans' interest in Thibodeau lies more with team President Mickey Loomis than general manager Dell Demps, who, the website reported, fired strong-willed coach Monty Williams in part over internal battles. Chicago Tribune

KC Johnson: With @Marc Stein reporting Jeff Van Gundy interested/in running for Pelicans job, the non-Bulls market getting more crowded for Thibodeau Twitter @KCJHoop

KC Johnson: Reported yesterday that Magic interest in Thibodeau has been overstated. Could be Bulls or bust, as in take year off. Stay tuned. Twitter @KCJHoop

The Detroit Pistons will expand their coaching staff by hiring a shooting coach for next season, head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy said. The job will be as a full-time traveling assistant and Van Gundy said he hopes to have the specialized coach in place by early July. Van Gundy said the new shooting coach will have no other responsibilities. "If he's watching our team play, watching our team practice, working with guys, watching film, he's focused on that one area," Van Gundy said. Booth Newspapers

May 22, 2015 Updates
May 21, 2015 Updates

ESPN.com reported last week after the Bulls' second-round elimination against Cleveland that there is mutual interest between Thibodeau and the Pelicans in discussing the job that was vacated when Monty Williams was fired earlier this month. Thibodeau, though, is under contract with the Bulls for the next two years at nearly $9 million. Although it widely believed throughout the league that both sides are eager to part company after five successful but rocky years together, the Bulls and Thibodeau are still operating as though he is Chicago's coach. ESPN.com

Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said the team is progressing well in its search for a new head coach. "We've had several conversations with a lot of people," Kroenke said in an interview with The Denver Post on Thursday. "I think that it benefits us to talk to as many people as we can. We have some people in the back of our mind that we think would be great fits. I've talked to enough people, and going through the process before, your coaching hire is probably going to be your hardest hire because there's so much that goes into that role in today's sporting industry." Denver Post

The Nuggets finished the season with Melvin Hunt as their interim head coach. He's in the mix for the job along with others such as Mike D'Antoni and Alvin Gentry. The Nuggets have talked to other candidates as well. "We have a list of traits that we have identified that are incredibly important to us going forward," Kroenke said. "And we've had several conversations with people already to kind of identify if those guys have the traits that we're looking for." Denver Post

The New Orleans Pelicans might not have to do much courting with Golden State Warriors lead assistant Alvin Gentry, who has emerged as a leading candidate for the team's vacancy at head coach. Gentry, who was interviewed by Pelicans executive vice president Mickey Loomis and general manager Dell Demps on Monday night in San Francisco, believes the opportunity to coach star forward Anthony Davis could be career defining, according to a source close to Gentry. New Orleans Times-Picayune

''He's more than interested,'' the source said Thursday morning. ''He really believes that this is a job that would certainly define him as a coach because of the opportunity that it creates. ''Certainly this is one of those jobs that you feel is probably as good as any job available right now, no question. Even if there were no other jobs, it would still be the best.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune

Kupchak went on Fox Sports Radio with host Bill Reiter (audio here) and addressed the rumors: I saw something about that this morning, and my first thought was, ‘Let me call [Lakers coach] Byron [Scott] and let him know that the agents are doing their job, and pay no attention.’ Not that I think Byron reads any of that stuff, but someone may call him and say ‘Hey, guess what I just read?’ Nothing to it. We’re incredibly happy with Byron. That’s what representatives and agents do. They try to create a marketplace for their guy, and I’m not saying that’s exactly what happened here, but we’re very, very happy with Byron, and after I hang up with you I’m going to call him or text him. NBCSports.com

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