Tom Thibodeau is currently in the 2nd year of his initial 2+TeamOption contract with the Bulls. His impending extension (you'd think) has come up a bit all season with the amount of success he's had. And, actually, the story about him taking less money to coach the Bulls was played for sacrifice and valor and whatnot. But that low salary apparently isn't so cool anymore, according to Marc Stein:
Thibodeau associates privately insist that the NBA's reigning Coach of the Year is dismayed that he hasn't been offered a more lucrative extension after signing a modest two-year contract with a team option when he joined the Bulls. Sources close to the situation say, furthermore, that his displeasure with the situation is an open secret in team circles.
Teddy Greenstein of the Tribune (note: not KC Johnson, though he wouldn't report of Thibs was choked...but, I find it interesting) confirms through 'team sources' that Thibs has raised the topic with the players.
Thibs and the players denied all of it after the game Friday, which is expected. And, really, I don't think there's much to it.
It's very uncommon for a coach to get a mid-season extension on a contract potentially running through next season. I think Mike McGraw's theory is sound: it's likely not legitimate surprise that there's no extension now, just Thibodeau's representatives sending a message out early before the sure-to-happen offseason negotiation. Maybe they're disappointed by lack of any movement from the Bulls. Thibs's 'associates' are high-profile agent Leon Rose, part of that CAA/WilliamWesley group that helped orchestrate LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony's moves, and who Adrian Wojnarowski is convinced ruined the great game of basketball.
What we can likely expect is for Thibodeau to get his extension this offseason...after a long, hard, annoying* negotiation that Reinsdorf will want to take over and win. Because that's what Reinsdorf likes to do (unless you're a 'son' to him, and/or an Arn Tellem client), and Reinsdorf has been burned in the recent past by eventually paying coaches not to coach for the Bulls anymore.This deal with Thibs will eventually get done all the same. Probably.
*just wait until we hear that Thibs increase in salary affects team payroll. Man, just win the title this year, Bulls, it'll make the offseason way easier on all of us.