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Tom Thibodeau Rumors: Friday

The Bulls have been out of the playoffs for less than a day, but already plenty of rumors about Tom Thibodeau the future of their head coaching job are flying. We’ll round up today’s latest here, with any updates that come in added to the top:

  • Chicago won’t even begin to discuss what compensation they would require in exchange for Thibodeau until a clear succession plan is in place, Ken Berger of reports. The Bulls want to find a coach who is not only the right fit, but also dynamic enough to justify letting Thibodeau out of his deal, Berger notes.

7:03pm update:

  • Several NBA executives believe that the Bulls will have difficulty getting compensation in return for Thibodeau since teams are aware of the dynamic between the coach and front office, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune tweets.

5:24pm update:

  • The consensus opinion amongst rival NBA executives at the draft combine is that the split between Thibodeau and the Bulls is going to be a protracted, and possibly ugly affair, Chris Mannix of tweets. One executive likened the situation to a “game of chicken,” Mannix adds.

12:05pm update:

  • Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck says that the same source who called Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry the favorite to succeed Thibodeau in Chicago expects a quick ending to the Thibs/Bulls drama, adding that the source pegs New Orleans as Thibodeau’s likely destination (Twitter link).
  • If Thibodeau isn’t coaching in Chicago next season, he’ll most likely be coaching the Pelicans, a source tells Johnson, largely echoing what Beck heard (Twitter link).

10:17am update:

  • Chicago will “absolutely” try to reap compensation for Thibodeau, with management viewing him as an asset, according to Johnson, who writes in a full piece. The Tribune scribe expects the Pelicans and Magic to request permission to talk with the coach and for the Bulls to grant that permission.

8:59am update:

  • One source put it bluntly to Marc Stein of“Thibs is gone. They know it and he knows it.” Most people around the league have similar feelings, Stein adds, having heard from one source who indicates that Thibodeau and GM Gar Forman have barely talked since November.
  • The Bulls are optimistic about their chances to land Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, in spite of his heart ailments, Stein also writes.
  • Thibodeau won’t quit and walk away from the money in the remaining two years of his contract, a source close to him told Ken Berger of Thursday night. That jibes with what K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune surmised last month when he wrote that he believed Thibodeau would stay if the choice were up to the coach.
  • Derrick Rose is rumored to be in Thibodeau’s corner, and he essentially confirmed that Thursday, making it clear he backs the coach, as David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune relays. “It’s not up to me, but if it was, he would be back,” Rose said. Taj Gibson also said that he wants Thibodeau to stay, as Berger notes in his piece.
  • Anthony Davis‘ “family and friends are already salivating at the idea” of Thibodeau joining the Pelicans, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher says (video link). Stein, in his report, emphasizes that Thibodeau’s interest in New Orleans is strong. Still, Bucher suggests that Mike D’Antoni and Mark Jackson are other coaches who would meet with the approval of Davis, and the Pelicans know that Davis is an unassuming type whom they don’t have to keep in the loop as they navigate their coaching search, Bucher says. New Orleans is confident that if it makes the right choice, Davis will be on board, according to Bucher.

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