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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

Before the playoffs, Blatt told me about how he sat down with Lue and they changed how they were defending the pick-and-roll and some other basics of NBA offenses. They did these a few times during the regular season. Then they took the changes to James, and asked for his input. Why? "Because LeBron has seen every about everything you can see in the NBA," said Blatt, adding that James was a "basketball savant." Cleveland Plain Dealer

It's been five days since the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs, and there has been no movement in their head coaching standoff with Tom Thibodeau. The Chicago front office has yet to formally contact its top target, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, and no NBA team has requested permission to speak with Thibodeau, a league source told CBSSports.com Wednesday. As we've discussed, this isn't going to be quick or easy. CBSSports.com

Finding Thibodeau a job falls under the purview of his representatives at Creative Artists Agency, but the Bulls also have a vested interest. As time goes by and openings in New Orleans and Orlando get filled (Denver, sources say, is not an option for Thibodeau), the Bulls get closer to choosing between two unappealing options: 1) Keeping Thibodeau, who has two years and about $9 million left on his contract; or 2) Firing him and paying two coaches. Sure, the tidiness of a deal including draft-pick compensation would be nice, but the Bulls have more tangible motivation for finding a mutually beneficial resolution. Most head coaching contracts, including those negotiated for past Bulls head coaches, have an offset clause usually amounting to a dollar-for-dollar discount on the money owed based on the coach's salary with his new team. So if Thibodeau were able to get a job at his current salary or more, the Bulls wouldn't owe him anything. Not even a going-away party. CBSSports.com

Former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he has not contacted by the New Orleans Pelicans for their vacant head coaching job. When asked if he has any interest in the opening, Jackson says he is happy with his job as an NBA analyst for ESPN. ''I'm having a time of my life calling these games,'' Jackson said during a conference call on Wednesday morning. ''It was a dream of mine to be a player, a coach and to be an announcer. I'm sitting beside friends for over 25 years, guys I respect and love. ESPN has been great to me and I'm enjoying what I'm doing and I have not been contacted. I'm having a blast announcing games.' New Orleans Times-Picayune

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