HoopsHype Tom Thibodeau rumors


May 28, 2015 Updates

What once stood merely as minor disagreements and distrust between Thibodeau and management has evolved into questions over his offensive schemes, handling of the roster and minute distribution. Furthermore, according to multiple sources, some players didn't endorse Thibodeau's return in exit meetings with management. Chicago Tribune

May 27, 2015 Updates

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

May 25, 2015 Updates

Everything hinges, obviously, on the resolution of coach Tom Thibodeau's future (or lack thereof) with the team. Almost no one expects he'll be back for the final two years of his contract, the relationship between him and the team's front office, seemingly, irrevocably broken. When and if Thibodeau is removed, the question of succession will determine the Bulls' future. Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg has been linked to the Chicago job for months, with good reason -- "The Mayor" was a well-liked player and teammate at each of his three NBA stops over a decade-long career, and has made a seamless transition to coaching. Or could the Bulls pull a 180 and bring in a go-go offensive mind like Mike D'Antoni -- the front-runner in Chicago five years ago before, at the last minute, negotiations broke down? NBA.com

May 23, 2015 Updates

Orlando had interest in discussing its opening with Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, but the Magic haven’t wanted to offer draft compensation for the chance to acquire him, league sources said. Chicago management has been waiting for a team to offer a draft pick to hire Thibodeau, but so far that hasn’t happened. The Bulls seem determined to hold on to Thibodeau until the league’s job vacancies fill, and a firing in Chicago would likely leave him out of coaching next season. Yahoo! Sports

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

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

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.