The Los Angeles Lakers are casting a wide net as they look to find their next head coach after Mike D’Antoni resigned on Wednesday night and one name being mentioned as a candidate is Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
The Bulls signed Thibodeau to a a four-year extension in 2012, but that hasn’t stopped whispers that Thibodeau and the team’s front-office are at odds, which as led to rumors the team could trade him much like the Los Angeles Clippers did for Doc Rivers last season when they traded a 2015 first-round pick to the Boston Celtics.
ESPN’s Bill Simmons thinks Thibodeau is this year’s Rivers and that the Lakers will deal for the Bulls head coach and then Chicago will hire former Bulls player and current Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg.
I feel good about this prediction: Thibs becomes this summer’s Doc (traded for a future 1st round pick), then Chicago hires Fred Hoiberg.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 1, 2014
Would the Bulls take a first-round pick for their head coach? They would if it was this year’s pick that could be in the top-five, but perhaps not if it was a future one. Secondly, losing Thibodeau may hurt their chances of signing Carmelo Anthony in free agency.
Hoiberg has been mentioned in connection with the Minnesota Timberwolves vacancy, but seems comfortable at his alma mater, so that may be the bigger longshot than Thibodeau actually being dealt.
If nothing else, this makes for an interesting rumor and one worth monitoring now that the Bulls have been eliminated from the playoffs.