Posted by Matt Clapp | 5/01/2014 04:21:00 PM | Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'Antoni, NBA, Taj Gibson, Tom Thibodeau
Note: I began writing this as part of a link dump, and then realized I had a lot to say, so I figured, what the hell, I may as well turn it into a separate post. So here it is...
As a Chicago Bulls fan, the news of the Los Angeles Lakers seeking permission to interview Tom Thibodeau was a bit of an eye-opener to me today, but it's hardly a surprise at the same time. The Lakers are the Lakers and they should be expected to aim high in their search for Mike D'Antoni's replacement, after D'Antoni resigned from the head coaching position on Wednesday.
As the article (linked above) notes, "Thibodeau and the Bulls have had a bit of a tense relationship at times, with issues with the front office about his assistant coaching staff."
So, you could see from that perspective why Thibs would perhaps be interested in going to another team.
But as the article also notes, "Thibodeau is obviously a brilliant coaching mind that can make the most of a depleted roster, but would be in for a completely new challenge in Los Angeles with the rebuilding Lakers."
The Lakers' current roster is a brutal one, and Kobe Bryant will be 36 when the 2014-2015 season starts, coming off injuries.
Additionally, I don't think the fancy appeal of being head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers matters as much to Thibodeau as it would others. The Bulls' players frequently joke that Thibs has no life, and is constantly watching film at home, the hotel, or office, when he's not coaching the team in a game or practice. I highly doubt he cares about the glamour of the Lakers franchise and celebrity lifestyle in Los Angeles. That's just not who he is.
Thibs is a boring guy, and just wants to win basketball games. Compared to the Lakers, at least, the Bulls' roster (as currently constructed) gives him a much better chance to do that over the remainder of his current three-year deal.
Derrick Rose will be back in 2014-2015, and while we have no idea if he'll ever be close to the MVP Derrick Rose again, he should be at least a very good player for a while (god, I hope).
Joakim Noah became an MVP candidate this season and figures to have at least a few more very high-level seasons ahead.
Taj Gibson was deserving of the Sixth Man of the Year award this season and will likely (and finally) be the starting power forward next season with Carlos Boozer expected to be amnestied.
Jimmy Butler is a warrior that exemplifies 'Thibs ball' (as Noah and Gibson also do).
The Bulls roster is one featuring players that greatly buy into Thibs' philosophy, and a roster capable of being a serious contender again quickly (especially if Carmelo Anthony were to join in).
So, unless Thibs really wants to get away from Bulls' front office, it's hard to see him having serious interest in the Lakers' job.
And then there's these questions:
1. Would the Bulls even let Thibs interview for the Lakers' job?
2. If so, what would the Bulls demand in return?
3. If the Bulls demanded the Lakers' 2014 lottery pick in return (currently with the sixth best odds for the top overall pick), would the Lakers be willing to give it up?
And what I would guess are the answers to those questions:
2. The 2014 Lottery Pick.
It's just really hard to see all three sides (Thibodeau, the Bulls, and the Lakers) being on board with what it would likely take to make a Thibodeau-to-the-Lakers move happen.
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