Asked about his future with the Bulls, Tom Thibodeau said, “Until they tell me I’m not, I expect to be here. So, that’s the way I’m approaching it.”
And Thibodeau might have his own ideas
Speculation about Thibodeau being traded is just that. There is a feeling amongst insiders that Thibodeau will “not allow himself to be traded” to help the Bulls and will wait to be fired even if it means waiting and missing out on the current openings.
Would Thibodeau really sit out the season and pass up a substantial raise? Maybe. He’d still get paid by the Bulls, and he could get a head-coaching job in 2016-17 with ease. Spite would be a poor reason to take that approach, but it’s also a powerful desire.
It’s unclear whether the Bulls could unilaterally trade Thibodeau, but it seems they can’t. Past examples of coach “trades” involved a team sending the coach’s current team compensation to let the coach out of his contract. Then, the coach signed a new deal with his new team.
The Magic are willing to go that route for Thibodeau, and considering the Pelicans’ interest, they surely know they would too if they want him. But they might not get the chance.
Right now, it seems we have a standoff in Chicago.