Where in the World will Tom Thibodeau land?
The Bulls have just become the most recent victim of the
LeBron James Matthew Dellavedova title run.
There are many looming questions that the Bulls front office must answer this offseason.
Especially after that embarrassing home display that the Bulls put on in Game 6.
The biggest question of all is what will become of current Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. The issues between Thibs and the team front office have been a recurring theme for the Bulls this season. This wilting relationship is akin to the movie marriage between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in The War of the Roses.
Thibodeau has been the man with a plan for the Bulls, putting together a .647 regular-season winning percentage and 23 playoff wins during his five years in Chicago. He even earned Coach of the Year honors in his first season with the team, where they won 62 games on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Sure, he's been criticized for playing his guys too many minutes. And yes, he's never gotten his team back to the Eastern finals since then, but Thibs has been able to get the team through every single one of Derrick Rose’s various injuries.
Thibodeau was even able to win a Game 7 in Brooklyn, where Chicago played without Rose, Lou Deng and Rose’s replacement, Kirk Hinrich.
Now that the Bulls' season is done, reporters are free to speculate as to which NBA city may become Thibodeau’s new home.
One possibility is that Thibs may end up in The Big Easy. The Pelicans were able to clinch the No 8 seed in the West with a win on the final day of the season, leaving Russ Westbrook and his snazzy outfits out of the playoffs.
Pelicans coach Monty Williams, who in my opinion did a pretty darn good job this season, was fired shortly after that Game 4 loss. Reports have surfaced that Thibodeau is interested in the Pelicans opening, one he was offered back in 2010. Now that future MVP and all-around beast Anthony Davis is in New Orleans, one would imagine that Thibs has to at least consider a potential Pelicans coaching offer.
Another possible home for Thibodeau is the Orlando Magic, who are still trying to fight their way back into NBA relevance in the post-Dwight Howard era.
The Magic have assembled a solid core of young and versatile players. They've done well in the draft, taking such players as Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon. In addition, they've obtained useful parts via the trades and free agency, such as Nikola Vucevic and Channing Frye.
Orlando fired coach Jacque Vaughn 52 games into his third season with the team, where he'd put together a .269 winning percentage and earned the ignominy of having the second-worst winning percentage for an NBA coach with a minimum of 200 games. NBA expert Bill Simmons perfectly summed up the Jacque Vaughn era in Orlando.
The team stills requires another piece or two before they can be considered as contenders, but a solid coach like Tom Thibodeau might be able to revive the ailing franchise.
The Magic were reportedly waiting for the Bulls' season to end before they started their coaching search, as they feared that a prolonged playoff run would prevent the Thibodeau from expressing interest in the job. They also seem to be willing to trade a draft pick for Thibs in the event that the Bulls hold the coach for ransom; he still has two years remaining on a deal he signed back in 2012.
It’s a shame that the Bulls and Thibodeau couldn't find common ground. Thibs has been nothing but a winner in Chicago. Maybe his next opportunity will result in winning that elusive Larry O’ Brien Trophy. It just doesn't look to be happening for him in the Windy City.
And for you depressed Bulls fans out there, keep your head high, knowing that your franchise will be in Fred Hoiberg’s hands, a dude who couldn’t beat UAB in the first round of the tournament.
So, Bulls fans frustrated with this situation, it could well be that Chief Keef knows what you're thinking. Either that, or he's sat in on the front office's strategy meetings.