The uncomfortable marriage between the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau finally came to an end, with the franchise firing its beleaguered head coach on Thursday. “When Tom was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said in the team’s statement. “But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed.” Multiple reports have cast Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg as Chicago’s top choice to succeed Thibs.
Here’s a look back at the rest of the week that was…
2015 NBA Draft News/Rumors
- The Clippers are reportedly attempting to trade for a 2015 first round draft pick.
- League sources have suggested that Murray State guard Cameron Payne has a draft promise from a team, and that there is a very good chance he is going to be a lottery pick.
- You can keep up with all of the scheduled and completed player workouts and interviews here.
- The Magic hired Scott Skiles as their new head coach. Orlando was also reported to have interviewed Clippers assistant Mike Woodson and Hoiberg as well.
- The Pelicans reportedly interviewed Jeff Van Gundy and Vinny Del Negro for their vacant head coaching position. Skiles also interviewed with the team.
- Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy said the team will hire a full-time shooting coach by July.
- Alvin Gentry interviewed with the Pelicans a second time.
- Knicks interim D-League coach Craig Hodges is expected to be back with the Westchester team as an assistant coach next season.
- Nuggets interim coach Melvin Hunt is the front-runner to take over the job permanently.
- The Suns let go of assistant coach Kenny Gattison and will be transitioning Nate Bjorkgren, the coach of their D-League affiliate, into a player development role.
- The Heat and Dwyane Wade have been discussing his contract situation and there reportedly appears to be a significant difference in what the two sides believe Wade’s next deal should be worth. Though Wade still prefers to remain with the franchise, where he has spent his entire 12-year career, he is now reportedly open to leaving if Miami does not raise its offer.
- Goran Dragic is a fan of coach Erik Spoelstra as well as team president Pat Riley, and the Heat’s status as the front-runner to keep him reportedly remains unchanged. However, if Wade were to depart the team it could negatively impact Miami’s chances to retain Dragic.
- There is reportedly mutual interest between Pacers president Larry Bird and veteran Luis Scola in coming to an agreement on a new deal.
- Stanko Barac will participate in mini-camp workouts for the Pacers in June with the aim of signing an NBA contract. The 7’2” draft-and-stash prospect from Croatia played for Cedevita of the Euroleague this season.
- LeBron James noted his desire to have the Cavaliers re-sign forward Tristan Thompson.
- There are many around the league who believe that Paul Pierce will opt out of his deal with the Wizards and join the Clippers for the home stretch of his career.
- Thaddeus Young is believed to be leaning toward turning down his player option worth nearly $10.222MM for next season and becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
- Suns draft-and-stash pick Bogdan Bogdanovic won’t be making the jump to the NBA next season, and he will remain with the Turkish club Fenerbahce.
- Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are reportedly losing confidence in the Nuggets, and both have let the team know that unless it hires an inspiring name to fill the coaching vacancy or makes a significant trade, they’d rather be dealt away than go through the rebuilding process.
- There is reportedly mutual interest between the Mavericks and Lawson in having the veteran suit up for Dallas next season, though acquiring the point guard is reportedly not at the top of Dallas’ offseason priority list.
- Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis said that the team will look to establish its own D-League franchise once its new practice facility was completed.
- The Nets and assistant GM Bobby Marks have officially parted ways.
- Soon-to-be free agent Lou Williams hired agent Wallace Prather of Perennial Sports and Entertainment for representation.
- The two way games of soon-to-be Hawks free agents Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll have Knicks president Phil Jackson intrigued, and the team could look to sign them this offseason.
- There are “whispers” that a sprained right shoulder that’s been nagging Millsap since the end of the regular season might require surgery in the offseason. Millsap denied that was the case, saying all he required was rest.
- Bucks team president Peter Feigin and Milwaukee leaders have indicated that both sides are close to a deal for the public’s share of funding for a new Bucks arena in the city.
- The Magic, Kings and Celtics are all reportedly interested in signing soon-to-be free agent Kosta Koufos.
- Members of the Mavs front office have reportedly tossed around the idea of engineering a sign-and-trade that would send Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan, should Jordan elect to sign with the Mavs this summer.
- The Raptors are looking to establish a one-to-one D-League affiliate stationed in the Toronto area for the 2015/16 season.
- Wolves swingman Shabazz Muhammad parted ways with agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management and signed with Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports.
- Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro is reportedly a “significant candidate” for the now vacant athletic director post at St. John’s University.
- The Hornets announced that former player and current broadcaster Dell Curry has expanded his role with the organization, becoming a team Ambassador and Special Projects Advisor.