The Lakers never asked the Bulls for permission to interview Tom Thibodeau, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, who reported last month that they would. The L.A. brass is “all but sure” the Bulls would have asked for this month’s No. 7 overall pick, which the Lakers would be unwilling to give up, according to McMenamin. The ESPN scribe also believes that L.A.’s concerns about paying Thibodeau a lavish salary to coach a mediocre roster next season played a role, and suggests the Lakers are wary of the way their fans might react if Thibodeau rejected the team’s pursuit. Here’s more from around the league:
- The deadline for Tim Duncan to decide on his $10MM player option for next season is June 24th, but the Spurs are operating under the assumption that Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich will return, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Most option clauses give players until June 30th to decide, though Duncan’s date can be pushed back if he and the team decide to do so, Stein notes, adding that Popovich’s contract runs through next season.
- A source tells Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio that Joel Embiid checked out fine when he took a physical this week for the Cavs, contradicting an earlier report from Tony Rizzo of ESPN Cleveland, who hears that the exam raised serious concerns (Twitter links).
- It appears as though the Bucks will work out Andrew Wiggins twice, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com hears that he’s auditioning for the team today in California and again next week in Milwaukee (Twitter link).
- A handful of top European teams have interest in soon-to-be free agent Nando De Colo, and it seems like they’re willing to give the Raptors guard a raise on the $1.463MM he made in the NBA this season, reports Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net.
- The Timberwolves have hired Sidney Lowe as an assistant coach, the team formally announced (Twitter link), confirming an earlier report. He spent last season as an assistant with the Jazz.