Bulls GM: Permission would have been granted for other teams to talk to Thibodeau, but ‘nobody called’

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Tom Thibodeau was under contract to coach the Chicago Bulls up until early Thursday afternoon, when the team announced his firing with an official release.

But many around the league have known for some time that Thibodeau would likely be out as Bulls head coach this summer, and therefore could have potentially been available before the news of the separation was formally announced.

Chicago brass maintained that they would have granted permission for teams to pursue Thibodeau as an option — if only they had called to ask.

From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Forman reiterates what Tribune reported all along: Bulls would’ve granted permission for other teams to talk to Thibs. Nobody called.

That would be Bulls GM Gar Forman, who (along with VP of basketball operations John Paxson) met the media to discuss the situation long after the decision had been made.

The primary reason for the lack of interest from other teams was the fact that everyone knew Thibodeau would be let go eventually. Had a club asked for permission to speak with Thibodeau while he was still under contract with the Bulls, and then decided they were interested in hiring him, Chicago would have asked for compensation in the form of one or more future draft picks.

Bulls management continues to throw shade at Thibodeau now that he’s gone. But saying that no teams called to inquire about Thibodeau’s availability shouldn’t be construed as a negative, despite how the front office clearly attempted to make it seem.