Skip to content

Tom Thibodeau to the Knicks? Well…

Dec 12, 2013, 2:00 PM EST

Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau is represented by Creative Artists Agency. We have to start there.

CAA and the Knicks enjoy an extremely harmonious relationship.

The Knicks actually made Mike Woodson fire his agent and retain CAA, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher/Report. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

Once Woodson switches his representation to CAA, the agency will control the team’s best player, the head coach and front-office executives Allan Houston and Mark Warkentien — not to mention marketing and sponsorship partners and musical artists who can fill the Garden for important concert dates that otherwise might have gone to the spectacular new arena nearing completion in Brooklyn for the Nets.

The Knicks’ most-perplexing move of recent of recent memory – and that’s a deep competition – of signing Chris Smith? Yup, CAA was behind that, too. The John Calipari rumors? CAA-based also.

So, the only reason the idea of Thibodeau going to the Bulls is gaining footing is because he’s represented by CAA.

Marc Stein of ESPN lays out the case:

Don’t forget he’s another CAA star client who already has some Knicks history after his stint as an assistant on Jeff Van Gundy’s staff. No one I’ve consulted, furthermore, thinks that trying to bring in the famously demanding Thibodeau would dissuade Melo from re-signing with the Knicks, who, remember, can still pay their star forward $30 million more than anyone else to stay in a city he adores.

Thibs has two seasons left on his Bulls deal after this one, true, but there is said to be enough lingering friction between the coach and GM Gar Forman to the point that you can picture it eventually sparking some sort of mutual parting. Throw in the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Derrick Rose‘s health, rising fears that Thibs’ beloved Luol Deng is a certainty to relocate in free agency next summer (if not sooner) and the occasional grumble in circulation about some of the Bulls’ players chafing at how hard Thibs pushes them in practice and there’s clearly something there when coaching insiders tip you to keep your eye on Thibs to the Knicks.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $10,000 Fantasy Basketball league that includes Thursday and Friday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 8pm ET on Thursday. Here’s the link.

The biggest obvious hurdle is Thibodeau signed a four-year contract extension that kicked in this season. So, how do the sides get past that?

1. Money. Thibodeau is one of the NBA’s best coaches, and if the Knicks want him, they’ll have to pay top dollar. First, they’ll have to offer Thibodeau a high salary. Then, they’ll have to offer the Bulls financial compensation for letting Thibodeau out of his contract early. Offering just draft picks, as the Clippers did to acquire Doc Rivers from Boston, probably won’t work, because the Knicks are already infamously short on picks.

2. The Bulls giving approval. Beck reports the Bulls would likely let Thibodeau out of his contract if he asks – though not before using their leverage to extract compensation from New York, I’m sure. The rift between Thibodeau and the front office is no secret, and if the they rebuild based on Derrick Rose’s health and Luol Deng’s free agency, the Bulls might prefer to do so with a new coach. Plus, Thibodeau’s demanding style must wear on players, and Chicago might just decide his message has become tired there.

3. The Knicks actually wanting Thibodeau. As long as James Dolan is running the Knicks, who knows what they’re doing? They’ll probably just keep Woodson or hire Allan Houston, who has no coaching experience.

But these are not huge obstacles. Though nobody is more likely than the field to coach the Knicks next season, this really could happen.

Thibodeau, via Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago:

“I don’t pay any attention to any of that stuff. To me, the only thing I have to do is concentrate on our team, our next opponent, our improvement and never get away from that,” he continued. “There’s a lot of stuff that gets thrown out there that’s just B.S., so if you pay any attention, it does no good. It takes you away from what’s important, and what’s important right now is our improvement and getting ready for the next game.”

Allow me to read way too much into that statement. Thibodeau never denies his interest in New York. He never says he’s committed to the Bulls forever.

It sounds like he’s wisely leaving the door open, and there’s no good reason to believe he won’t eventually walk through it. At this point, though, there also aren’t enough reasons to assume he will, either.

  1. Josh Brown - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Wow. I must say, the Knicks have talent and it’s kind of clear that coaching is one of the main issues. Also the fact that they play no defense, which Thibodeau would likely make better. That would be one of the smarter decisions if the knicks want to take control of this season.

  2. cmart0907 - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Maybe he will leave. Maybe no Loul. No Derrick Rose. Overpaid Boozer. Halfway Decent Noah. Well the Knicks don’t have anybody neither. Ball Hog Melo. Two old Pgs. Mr inconsistent Smith. Overrated Shumpert. Lazy Amare. Washed up Kenyon. I think he stays with the Bulls lmao.

    • theromeo2k - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Lmao funniest comment I’ve seen in a while!! Those adjectives are spot on!!!

    • maracineanu16 - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:34 AM

      bravo

  3. edavidberg - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Bulls are going to tank this year. And getting rid of Thibs is a necessity if you are tanking. If the Bulls can get out of his contract I’m sure they would jump at the chance.

  4. sportsfan18 - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Yeah right!

    The Knicks don’t play defense and that is what Thibs preaches and coaches.

    Not only do the Knicks not play defense, they can’t play defense even when they try.

    Thibs would pass out on the sideline watching them play “d”, yeah little d.

    The Knicks are about the 3rd worst team on defense right now in the league.

  5. stayhigh_247 - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Jerry Reinsdorf is no Dolan (idiot), he’s not letting Thibs go. To bring in who? D Rose is the only person that could get rid of Thibs and they have a gr8 relationship. If anything Gar Forman needs to be shown the door.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Reinsdorf let Phil Jackson go. He basically fired Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan. No one is safe in Chicago when Jerry has a plan.

  6. vishalk2178 - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    This guy sounds like a desperate knicks fan. knicks are not getting thibs. even in that quote u posted he said that it was all bs. n jus because some guy named beck says bulls will let thibs out his contract means it’s true? all these reports just speculating to create news.. u also left out the part of the quote were thibs said he has a great job in Chicago and loves the guys on the team he has now. Don’t get ur hopes up bro. knicks will continue to be garbage.

  7. 00maltliquor - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    So, the only reason the idea of Thibodeau going to the Bulls is gaining footing is because he’s represented by CAA.
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    Sorry to be the bearer of news but, Thibs is already on the Bulls.

  8. belleby123 - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    Thibs will stay until the end of his contract with the Bulls. If the Bulls were smart, they would give him a say-so over which players were drafted. As long as the Bulls front office continues to make crappy personnel decisions and leave Thibs holding the bag he’s going to be wasted as a coach. Compared to the talent Indiana or Miami has the Bulls shouldn’t even be competitive, and yet they are every year. Imagine what would happen if he had players that could consistently put points on the board. It’s a shame, but probably the best thing that could happen to him is if he wound up going to an organization that was actually capable of pulling its head out its a**. That probably isn’t the Knicks, though.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Could Sixers be worst team in NBA history?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (8543)
  2. D. Wade (6905)
  3. K. Durant (6872)
  4. D. Howard (6681)
  5. T. Jones (5398)
  1. R. Westbrook (5350)
  2. B. Jennings (5189)
  3. T. Gibson (5132)
  4. T. Harris (5123)
  5. K. Martin (5052)