Bulls management reportedly wants to dump Tom Thibodeau.
The Pelicans and Magic reportedly want to hire Thibodeau.
Everything seems to falling into place – except Chicago landing its desired replacement coach.
Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg is reportedly the top choice, but he recently underwent heart surgery.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
sources near that situation say Hoiberg, who’s been dealing with heart related issues and had another heart procedure last month, may not be looking to jump to the NBA and the stress level associated with it.
If the Bulls do part ways with Thibodeau, it’s unclear who they would target as his replacement. Sources peg Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry as a serious front runner.
Hopefully, Hoiberg makes a full recovery and can pursue the career options he desires rather than the ones his health dictates.
Gentry would be an interesting choice, though. A Warriors assistant, he said he’d like to become a head coach again – but he won’t leave Golden State for just any top job.
The Bulls present an intriguing opportunity.
Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic form a strong core and are all under contract for next season. Jimmy Butler, a restricted free agent, should also return. Tony Snell and Doug McDermott could make leaps, and Chicago has all its future first-round picks plus a first-rounder from the Kings if they can escape the top 10 of the draft in the next two years.
The Bulls don’t have Anthony Davis like the coach-searching Pelicans, but Chicago has an easier road in the Eastern Conference.
If Gentry brings some offensive creativity and the players remember the defensive principles instilled by Thibodeau, they could really roll.
This is the type of opening – should it come open – coaches flock to. Hoiberg and Gentry are both strong candidates, and if the Bulls want/need to explore the pool further, they’ll find other quality options.