The Chicago Bulls are reportedly seriously considering the option of firing coach Tom Thibodeau and absorbing the financial hit that it would involve, according to ESPN.
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Thibodeau is under contract for another two years with the organisation with his deal worth $9m, and although he has enjoyed relative success on the court, he has often clashed with the front office during his tenure.
It is understood that the Bulls are willing to pay off their coach, although under league rules regarding coaching contracts, it is reportedly unlikely that they would have to pay the entire amount as provisions would be applicable when Thibodeau finds a new job.
ESPN report that the Bulls haven’t received the compensation package that their desire in order to allow their coach to leave, with suggestions that they are willing to wait until other posts around the league are filled before firing him as the saga takes a spiteful twist.
The New Orleans Pelicans and Orlando Magic had been linked with a move, but no offer has been forthcoming and so there is ultimately a standstill between all parties.
However, it is expected that the Bulls and Thibodeau will eventually part company before the summer is over, and it comes after years of clashes with management over various matters regarding the coaching staff and players.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s semi-finals playoff exit to a Cleveland Cavaliers side plagued by injuries this season would have done little to help Thibodeau’s case to stay, while his offensive schemes and lack of substance have also been heavily criticised.
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg and Golden State Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry have been mentioned as favourites to replace him in Chicago, but it is understood that the Bulls want a commitment from them before they make the change.