Just a month ago, it looked like the Los Angeles Lakers were going to make a major play for Chicago Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Thibodeau, who always fields one of the top two or three defenses in the NBA, is considered one of the game’s best coaches. The Lakers, who were fresh off firing Mike Brown, could use a coach like Thibodeau, not just to turn the team back into a winner, but to recruit free agents (likely in 2015) and give them even more of a reason to come to Los Angeles.
The Lakers were expected to ask for permission to interview Thibodeau, but according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, they never did.
Well, for starters, the Lakers are all but sure that Chicago will require that L.A. trades its No. 7 pick in the first round, if not more assets, to allow Thibodeau out of his contract that runs through the 2016-17 season.
With only three players under contract for next season and the draft considered to be loaded, the Lakers deem that too steep a price to pay.
Getting a good, young player on a relatively affordable rookie deal could end up doing wonders to fielding a competitive team, while maintaining the bulk of the Lakers’ cap space to pursue a veteran or two on the free-agent market in the coming summers.
Thibodeau left Doc Rivers’ staff with the Boston Celtics to take over the Bulls in 2010. Since then, Thibodeau has posted a regular season record of 205-107 and a postseason record of 17-22.