Rumors regarding his future in the Windy City have been swirling for months. Years, even. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski penned a piece recently in which he portrayed Thibodeua’s departure as inevitable. And so, barring a Bulls title, it feels inevitable.
Thibs won’t be light on job offers if he’s shown the door in Chicago. He’ll instantly enter the running for the Orlando Magic vacancy and will probably even be linked to the Denver Nuggets’ opening. The brand-hungry Toronto Raptors could also elect to fire Dwane Casey and pursue Thibodeau.
And, finally, Thibodeau could hope that Monty Williams is given the ax by the New Orleans Pelicans. From the Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times:
While Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau is the leader in the Orlando Magic vacant coaching clubhouse, Scott Skiles and Scott Brooks are still in contention. I’m hearing the Magic job is Thibodeau’s if he so desires, although some basketball insiders are speculating New Orleans could be Thibodeau’s preferred landing spot.
Always cut rumors like these, from out-of-town newspapers, with your daily dose of sodium. It’s phrased a little meekly, and the Bulls are still in the thick of a championship pursuit. It’d be weird for Thibodeau to start tipping his hand on backup plans and desires now, with the second-round best-of-seven series between his Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers tied at two games apiece.
It’d be equally odd for Thibodeau to show interest in a position that’s not available. Like Thibs himself, Williams has meandered in and out of the chatterbox for months, if not years. And from Thibodeau’s viewpoint, it’s easy to see why the Pelicans would intrigue him, what with them employing an alien lifeform in Anthony Davis.
But the Pelicans owner has already come out in support of Williams and general manager Dell Demps following the team’s return to playoff action. Williams has one year left on his contract, so if the Pelicans wind up making a change, it would likely be during the middle of next season, or during the summer of 2016, when they can simply choose not to renew his contract rather than pay him to go elsewhere.
Pump any brakes on this rumor reaching fruition, or even becoming a thing at all. Speculating about the safety of other peoples’ jobs is one of the things I hate about this one. The high-profile nature and relative enormous salaries of head coaches can make you forget that this is their occupational livelihood we’re discussing.
Let us, then, leave it at this: If Thibodeau does, in fact, get canned by the Bulls, he’ll have options. The Pelicans, assuming he wants a gig before next season, are just unlikely to be among them.