Reports: Bulls getting closer to firing Tom Thibodeau

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There are so many agendas at play and so many leaks in the Tom Thibodeau/Chicago Bulls feud that any kernels of truth are hard to spot in the cesspool of spin.

We know the relationship between the Bulls’ front office,and Tom Thibodeau’s is bad — like headed for divorce bad. The Bulls want to ease their pain in letting him go, by finding a team that might want to hire him and getting them fork over some draft-pick compensation. Nobody wants to play that game. The Magic are serious about Scott Skiles (ownership loves him) and the Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps is leaning Alvin Gentry. Which led to the rumors the Bulls were willing to hold on to Thibodeau until all the jobs were filled then fire him. Just out of spite. Which makes little sense because then the Bulls then have to pay his salary (there is an off-set in his contract, if another team hires him the Bulls save that money). Plus, the Bulls miss out on hiring some potentially good coaches snatched up by other teams.

If the Bulls want out, they are just likely going to have to fire him — and they are leaning that way reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

The Chicago Bulls are giving increasing consideration to firing coach Tom Thibodeau and absorbing the corresponding financial hit, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the prospect of Chicago simply terminating its highly successful but often contentious relationship with Thibodeau, as the days pass, is growing in likelihood, even with nearly $9 million left on the coach’s contract over the next two seasons.

That seems more likely than the other alternative, proposed by Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

While the belief among knowledgeable people in the coaching business has grown that Thibodeau could actually wind up coaching the Bulls next season, ESPN reported Wednesday that the team’s front office is increasingly considering the surest way to prevent that from happening: firing him.

My sense is the Bulls thought they could land a draft pick as compensation — even a second rounder — and that someone would hire Thibs so the Bulls didn’t have to pay as much (if anything). But nobody around the league is going to help them out.

If the Bulls want him gone, they just have to pull the trigger on the firing. Otherwise, bring him back. Either way, they are reaching the time to act.