After years of being overlooked for every head coaching opening despite his own sterling reputation as a defensive Einstein, Tom Thibodeau is finally going to get a head coaching job… as long as he doesn’t vastly overplay his hand.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Thibs’ agency has begun contract discussions with the New Orleans Hornets. However, the deal is far from done. Thibodeau would like to keep his options open for a potential offer from the New Jersey Nets or Chicago Bulls. Both the Bulls and Nets jobs are considered better opportunities than the Hornets — the Bulls have Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and cap room, while the Nets have plenty of cap space and a Russian owner with bottomless pockets focused on nothing but winning championships (well, that and making jet-skiing instructional videos starring himself).
Woj reports that Thibs’ number one choice is the Bulls, but Thibs may have to decide between taking a Hornets offer that’s already on the table and waiting for an offer from Chicago or New Jersey that might not come. The Hornets could rescind their offer if they feel Thibs is using other opportunities as leverage.
And Thibs is likely to have other opportunities. He is being mentioned as a favorite for both the Nets job and the Bulls position he seeks. The Chicago Daily Herald (h/t Green Street) reports that Thibs is one of two clear-cut candidates for the Bulls job, with former Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks being the other. However, there is speculation the Bulls could hire Brian Shaw (former Lakers player and now a Lakers assistant) in an attempt to lure Lebron James, who apparently has some interest in playing in the triangle offense. Of course, all the Shaw talk seems to be wild speculation… as is almost everything we’ve heard about Lebron this summer.
Thibs is certainly a sought-after man.