Over the past year, there were rumors that the New York Knicks wanted to pluck Tom Thibodeau away from the Bulls. Those rumors have died down with Phil Jackson now running the show, but another one of the league's high-profile franchises is apparently going to take a stab:
Mike D'Antoni resigned from the Lakers on Wednesday, and the organization plans on casting a wide net to fill that position. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kobe Bryant wants to see Thibs coaching the Lakers, and while I scoffed at that notion, Woj's bit has now been followed up by this interview request.
And I'm still going to scoff at it. The Lakers have every right to request permission to interview Thibs, but that doesn't mean the Bulls have to grant them their wish. And even if they did allow the interview, there are major complications in the way of Thibs going from Chicago to Los Angeles.
The allegedly rocky relationship between Thibs and the front office could come into play here, but those issues have reportedly been smoothed out, if they were truly a major issue at all. Even if the relationship isn't the greatest, would Thibs want to leave Chicago to go to Los Angeles? Both teams do have major questions marks going forward, but I still do like the Bulls' future over the Lakers' future over the next few years. And even if the money was enough to make Thibs want to go, there's the very tricky matter of compensation.
Thibs is a top flight coach with three years left on his deal, so the compensation would have to be pretty hefty. The Lakers will have a very enticing lottery pick in this upcoming draft, which would be very intriguing. But I'm doubting the Lakers would trade away a potential young stud for a coach. The Lakers have traded their 2015 and 2017 first-rounders already, and per the Stepien Rule, they can't trade their 2016 and 2018 first-rounders. So a future first-rounder is basically out of the question.
So for now, I'm just going to call this a cute story that probably won't lead to anything. This could be just the Lakers trying to appease Kobe. If I'm wrong, well, perhaps the Bulls will have that stud lottery pick I was hoping for earlier in the year. But I'm not counting on it.
[Note by JayPatt, 05/06/14 3:47 PM CDT Mark Jackson has been fired and Woj said the Warriors may try and talk to Thibs as well. Strange that these teams think a coach with three years left on his contract may be available. ]