May 24, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Tom Thibodeau is widely regarded as one of the league’s best coaches for the way he has gotten an undermanned Bulls team to give maximum effort and play harder than everyone else on a seemingly nightly basis.
Because of this, along with a reportedly somewhat rocky relationship with the Chicago front office, there are plenty of teams looking at acquiring his services, despite the fact that he is currently under contract to coach the Bulls for the next three seasons.
But there’s supposedly only one job that would truly cause him to consider making a change.
“There’s only one place that Thibodeau would really push to go elsewhere, and that’s to go back to the New York Knicks,” Bucher said. “That, I’m told by one source, is actually his dream job, to go back and get the Knicks back on the map. But short of that, he realizes that no matter where he goes, the grass isn’t always greener.”
The reasons Thibodeau might look to leave include the firing of his top assistant coach, Ron Adams, which was a decision made by GM Gar Forman last summer — an unusual one in NBA circles, considering head coaches typically make those choices. And, the team traded well-respected veteran Luol Deng at the deadline for nothing more than protected future first round draft picks, along with some immediate salary savings.
But despite all that, staying in Chicago has its advantages. Derrick Rose has to be healthy one of these seasons, and adding the former MVP to a team already loaded with talent like Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler would make the Bulls immediate contenders in a watered-down Eastern Conference.
The good news for Chicago is that it would appear unlikely that New York would come calling anytime soon. Not only does president of basketball operations Phil Jackson want to get someone to coach the Knicks with whom he has an established previous relationship, but New York has almost nothing to offer in terms of compensation should the Bulls agree to let Thibodeau out of his contract.
Thibodeau appears set to stay put for now. But until he or the Bulls release a statement saying so, his name will continue to come up as a possibility to fill one of the more attractive coaching vacancies this offseason.
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