Now that they’ve fired him, they can’t get compensation from another team for letting him out of his contract. But him signing a new deal – likely worth much more than what the Bulls owe him – would let them off the hook financially.
How much does Thibodeau want to spite the Bulls?
How does he feel about the open jobs? What openings does he anticipate in 2016? To what degree would he prefer coaching those teams? How would he spend the next year if not coaching?
These are all questions that will factor into his decision about what to do next season.
According to one report – reliability caveats of the source noted – Thibodeau (for whatever reasons) has already made up his mind about the three non-Chicago openings.
Anthony Davis is under contract next season, and because he’ll be a restricted free agent after that, he can’t unilaterally leave New Orleans until 2017 at the earliest.
Likely, he’ll be with the Pelicans through 2021.
They’re going to offer him a max contract extension, and for him to make a higher salary under the Derrick Rose Rule, the extension must be for five years. He’d have to give up a lot of money to leave before 2021 and an outrageous amount to leave in 2017.
Considering the job security of even good NBA coaches, it seems silly for Thibodeau to worry about Davis staying in New Orleans. No matter what Davis feels at this very moment – and indications are he likes the city and team – so much could change by the time it matters.
But the Pelicans should probably be slightly concerned if someone who knows Davis – Thibodeau was a Team USA assistant coach – believes the star will leave New Orleans. This report isn’t definitive proof Thibodeau thinks that, and even if he does, he’s not necessarily right. But with a player as important as Davis, the Pelicans should take every signal seriously.