HoopsHype Coaching rumors


May 28, 2015 Updates

Former Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, meanwhile, has passed on the opportunity to interview for any of the league's three vacancies, amid a strong belief in coaching circles that Brooks is prepared to sit out a year to focus on family and try his hand at TV work. ESPN.com

May 27, 2015 Updates

New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps met with Jeff Van Gundy on Tuesday in San Francisco, league sources confirmed. Yahoo Sports was the first to report Van Gundy had a formal interview with the Pelicans. New Orleans Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Pelicans’ coaching search is gathering momentum, a process that included a formal interview Tuesday with Jeff Van Gundy, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Van Gundy, one of the NBA’s top available coaches, and New Orleans officials met in the Bay Area to discuss the opening. The sides had spoken over the phone, but this was the first face-to-face meeting, league sources said. Yahoo! Sports

For now, New Orleans officials and Van Gundy are beginning the process of getting to know each other. Van Gundy had traveled to the Bay Area for his role as a television analyst for the Western Conference finals. Yahoo! Sports

There are, still, three NBA head-coaching jobs open. Sort of. Around the league, the process of finding new coaches in New Orleans, Denver and Orlando — where there are openings — has been held up by the one impending opening. That would be in Chicago, where some players and people around the Bulls already have heard that coach Tom Thibodeau won’t be back next year, two people close to the situation told Sporting News. Sporting News

The Bulls have been in a bind because of the Thibodeau situation. Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf has a long-standing aversion to paying coaches who are not currently working for him, but for the Bulls to be rid of Thibodeau, they would have to either fire him or move him to another team — a trade, of sorts, like the one that sent Doc Rivers from the Celtics to the Clippers in 2013 for a draft pick. Sporting News

Other teams have moved on or, at least, have given the appearance of moving on. There are still those around the league who feel that New Orleans and Orlando want Thibodeau and have come up with candidates like Scott Skiles for the Magic and Jeff Van Gundy (Thibodeau’s friend and mentor) for the Pelicans in order to spook the Bulls into simply letting Thibodeau go. If their new candidates are decoys, that’s a high-stakes game of chicken for the Pels and/or Magic. Either way, whether by straight firing or some form of trade, Bulls players are expecting to call a new guy “coach” next season. Sporting News

As of Wednesday, all remained quiet as far as the job status of Thibodeau. That doesn’t mean details of the frayed relationship between coach and front office haven’t stopped permeating throughout the league. While there had been reports of Bulls VP of basketball operations John Paxson trying to force-feed an offensive-minded presence on Thibodeau and his staff last summer, that so-called would-be assistant coach went nameless. According to a league source, however, it was former Bulls coach Doug Collins. Considering how close Collins and members of the Bulls front office have remained over the years, it would have been a recipe for disaster. The ultimate act of undermining. Luckily, Thibodeau resisted the idea, as his team went on and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference in offensive efficiency anyway. Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Bulls are giving increasing consideration to firing coach Tom Thibodeau and absorbing the corresponding financial hit, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that the prospect of Chicago simply terminating its highly successful but often contentious relationship with Thibodeau, as the days pass, is growing in likelihood, even with nearly $9 million left on the coach's contract over the next two seasons. ESPN.com

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