With the Bulls’ season coming to its end at the hands of the Cavaliers tonight the speculation regarding where Tom Thibodeau will coach next season will now kick in full-throttle. The Pelicans, who recently parted ways with coach Monty Williams, are reportedly interested in Thibodeau should he become available. The interest in bringing the current Bulls coach and his career 255-139 record to New Orleans is apparently mutual, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). League sources have informed the ESPN scribe that Thibs is indeed interested in New Orleans’ vacancy should his tenure in Chicago end.
New Orleans has long regarded Thibodeau highly and the franchise made a play for him back in 2010 before hiring Williams. Thibodeau was named as a “clear and obvious candidate” for the Pelicans shortly after the firing of Williams was announced. But the Pelicans aren’t the only team who will be interested in the Bulls’ coach. The Magic have also been reported to be looking at Thibs to replace interim coach James Borrego.
Chicago is reportedly more likely to seek compensation for letting Thibodeau out of his contract than simply firing him, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. The Magic would likely be willing to give up one or two second-round picks for the right to hire Thibodeau, Kyler noted, while Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times relayed that the Magic’s job would be Thibodeau’s to turn down. It’s believed that Thibodeau is also the front-runner for the Nuggets job, but Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post thinks that Thibodeau’s defense-first philosophy would clash with Denver’s desire to become a faster paced offensive team.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.