I'm a fan of Bill Simmons, he is fairly entertaining on ABC's NBA pre-game show. But his obsession with Tom Thibodeau leaving the Bulls is getting old already.
I'm not sure exactly when it started, but it was no later than December 13, 2013, when he wrote on his website:
Most Interesting Subplot: You mean, other than the simmering feud between Tom Thibodeau and Chicago’s front office that’s heading for Thibs bolting by “mutual agreement” after the season?
Yes, it's well-known that Tom Thibodeau and Gar Forman don't seem to like each other. But for some reason, Bill Simmons seems obsessed with the "fact" that Thibs is going to leave Chicago this summer to coach some other NBA team.
And while yes, it is possible that he does just that, it's also incredibly unlikely. First of all, if Thibs were so unhappy with the Bulls, why would he have signed a four-year, $17.5 million contract extension in April of 2013? If he didn't want to be in Chicago, he could have easily chosen to become a free agent last summer and signed with a number of teams for more money than the Bulls gave him.
Simmons' latest attempt at getting Thibs out of Chicago was this gem that he put out on Twitter today:
Hearing that, if the Grizz totally clean house, the Memphis owner will look to trade for Tom Thibodeau + give him an SVG/Pistons-type deal.
PS: Bulls need assets for a run at Kevin Love, an extra 1st round pick would help. They'd hire Fred Hoiberg if Thibs got traded. Stay tuned.
The Grizzlies own the #22 overall pick in this summer's draft- does Bill Simmons really think that throwing in a pick that is lower than the two the Bulls already own (#16 and #19) is going to make any difference? And is Simmons ignoring the fact that the Bulls are also owed a first-round pick from Sacramento, and they have the option to swap first-rounders with Cleveland next season (if Cleveland's pick isn't in the lottery)?
Finally, if the Bulls were to trade for Love, the first asset leaving Chicago would most likely be PF Taj Gibson, since Love is an All-Star PF, and Nikola Mirotic (whose draft rights are owned by the Bulls) is the best PF in the world who isn't already in the NBA?
All of this being said, I could see the Bulls wanting to go in a different direction at the head coaching position. Kevin Love isn't known for being a good defender, and if the Bulls were to find a way to bring him to Chicago, Forman and Paxson might just want to replace Thibs with a coach who understands that while defense wins championships, you can't win in the NBA without playing guys who can score.
Thibs showed in the Bulls series loss to Washington in this year's playoffs that he can be quite stubborn in refusing to play shooters who aren't the greatest defenders (Jimmer Fredette, anyone?). It's certainly not out of the question that the Bulls might take whatever asset they can get for letting Thibs go to another team, and that they will keep an assistant who knows Thibs' defensive system while bringing in a head coach who will play some scorers.
Stay tuned, it should be a very interesting summer for Bulls fans.