Central Notes: Hoiberg, Pacers, Draft

The frontrunner to replace Tom Thibodeau if he is let go by the Bulls as expected, is reportedly Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. This interest in Hoiberg isn’t a recent development, since according to league sources the team had already spoken with Hoiberg about his potential interest in coming to Chicago earlier this season, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv relays. It’s unclear if Hoiberg’s health concerns would prevent him from accepting the position if offered, but he certainly hopes to join the pro coaching ranks at some point. “He has always said from day one that his lifelong goal has been to coach in the NBA,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said of Holberg. “It’s for him to decide when that part of his life he wants to activate. Now it’s just strictly a decision for him and their family personally, not what he wants to do because he’s made that clear. [The NBA is] what he wants to do. It’s a matter of when he wants to do it.

Here’s what else is happening around the Central Division:

  • The Pacers interviewed a number of former Kentucky players at the draft combine, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star tweets. Indiana sat down with Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Trey Lyles, and Devin Booker, Buckner notes.
  • Cauley-Stein said that Pacers president Larry Bird told him, “I think you’re a $100MM player,” Buckner relays (Twitter links). Booker wasn’t given a dollar value by the team, but did note that there was a “great vibe” during his interview, Buckner adds.
  • The Pacers will hold their first pre-draft workout this Monday, and in attendance will be Cameron Payne, Olivier Hanlan, Jerian Grant, Rakeem Christmas, Richaun Holmes, and Joseph Young, Buckner tweets.
  • Lastly from Buckner (via Twitter), the Pacers will be one of the teams attending a private workout in Los Angeles next Friday for forward Kevon Looney and guard Norman Powell.
  • Looney met with the Pistons while at the draft combine, Keith Langlois of NBA.com reports (Twitter links). Also meeting with Detroit was Booker, who believes his outside shooting would be the perfect complement to Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, who is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, Langlois adds.
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