Everyone assumes that the Bulls and head coach Tom Thibodeau are ready to part ways.
At least, that’s the story that’s been floating around all season long—that Thibs and the front office are at such odds that the relationship won’t continue beyond this summer.
But for now, nothing’s changed yet, and with years left on his contract, Thibodeau says it’s business as usual “until they tell me I’m not” the coach.
From ESPN Chicago:
Tom Thibodeau says he expects to be coaching the Chicago Bulls next season despite a league-wide belief that he and the team’s front office will decide to part ways.
“Until they tell me I’m not [the coach], I expect to be here,” Thibodeau said after a 94-73 season-ending loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night. “So that’s the way I’m approaching it.”
Thibodeau said he hasn’t thought about how he would handle things if other teams started approaching him, but NBA coaching sources tell ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that there is mutual interest between Thibodeau and the New Orleans Pelicans in discussing the job that came open this week when the Pelicans fired Monty Williams.
If the Bulls and Thibodeau indeed elect to part company, it remains to be seen how the sides intend to negotiate a divorce with two years and nearly $9 million left on Thibodeau’s current contract.
The consistent word in NBA coaching circles for months, sources say, is that the Bulls will seek compensation in the form of a draft pick for letting Thibodeau out of his contract, much like the Boston Celtics and how they extracted a first-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers to pave the way for the Clippers’ hiring of Doc Rivers in 2013.