That is, unless you're dead-set against a first-time head coach.
And I'm not, not entirely. In some respects there's nothing wrong with jumping off the carousel of retreads, and go for no experience over bad experience. I thought that Flip was more than a retread, and Casey deserved a second chance. But each candidate had red flags, Collins more than a couple, and in some ways it's good to not get hung up on somebody's previous jobs and their respective offensive/defensive efficiencies and pace.
But it's also a major risk, and at least for some of my fears to be assuaged Vinny Del Negro will have to deliver a heck of a press conference. Not that his words will matter that much if they aren't (or are) implemented, but as an extension of the interview with Paxson it'll be interesting to hear what 'basketball philosophies' Paxson 'connected' with to start building sandcastles together. (Or hire as his coach. Sorry, I forgot what Paxson search was all about for a second...)
Because with no prior experience, it wasn't as much credentials but an interview that won Paxson's heart. (again, sorry...) With his recent front office experience with the Suns as the most relevant part of his basketball playing life, I wonder how closely VDN alignined himself with Paxson's first-favorite choice, Mike D'Antoni. D'Antoni was dismissed by Steve Kerr, and VDN worked under Kerr, but wasn't amongst the finalists for the Suns job. So perhaps VDN was more in D'Antoni's corner? (also possible that Kerr couldn't hire a first-timer with Shaq on the roster)
According to this Sun-Times report, VDN was 'as upset as anyone' when it came to D'Antoni's notoriously short rotation, as it pushed aside some of the younger players he brought into the fold as GM. Given the Suns constant selling of draft picks, there's not much to go on that front either, but it'll be good to hear the new coach of the Bulls emphasize player development, and adapting to his roster. What I'd rather not hear is if he's against D'Antoni in a different way: appreciating the value of slowed-down, overcoached, 'accountability, discipline, did I mention accountability?' basketball.
A press conference won't tell us definitively either way, but between his opening remarks regarding philosophy and the filling out of his coaching staff, there's some major questions yet to be answered.
But what we do know is, regardless of Vinny Del Negro's ultimate success, that Paxson's search was a failure bordering on a joke. He missed out on two choices, looked publicly pantsed doing so, and worse yet we're still not sure whose choices D'Antoni and Collins even were. And in a search predicated on 'open-mindedness', it was abruptly finished before candidates from the Lakers or Celtics were considered. The most qualified dismissed coach wasn't even interviewed, and even when D'Antoni was available it was seen as some unexpected development that threw off the 'process'.
That said, that doesn't mean Del Negro is a bad hire because he's never had a head coaching job. Even less important that he'd never even been an assistant coach. If he's ready to lead and teach, a couple years on a bench wouldn't matter that much. I'm willing to give him a chance until there's reason otherwise.
However, I will say that the lack of experience gives him a shorter rope. For him and Paxson.