Despite five teams currently without head coaches, there hasn't been
much reported overlap on candidates the Bulls are eyeing. Dwane Casey,
a finalist when Vinny Del Negro got the job in 2008, is being
considered by New Orleans. And Tom Thibodeau, who could draw interest
from the Bulls when the Celtics' playoff run ends, also has been
mentioned as a possibility in New Orleans and New Jersey.
But an NBA source has said Bulls general manager Gar Forman has
settled on the model for his ideal candidate -- someone who has had not
only head-coaching experience, but also postseason experience in the
The premium on playoff experience seemingly would eliminate a few
candidates -- Kevin McHale, Dwane Casey and Eric Musselman -- linked to
the Bulls' search. It wouldn't eliminate Kentucky coach John Calipari,
who made the playoffs with the New Jersey Nets in 1998.
Playoff experience is no guarantee a candidate will get an
interview. The candidates with perhaps the most postseason experience
-- Byron Scott and Avery Johnson, who each reached the NBA Finals --
don't appear to be on the Bulls' radar.
League sources said the Bulls have done background work on Lawrence Frank and Maurice Cheeks.
I'm not real sad about missing out on Avery Johnson or Byron Scott if that's the case. Lawrence Franks and Maurice Cheeks both appeal to me in some ways and not in others.
I'm officially pulling for Jeff Van Gundy, but I still maintain that it's too difficult for fans to really grade coaches because we don't get to see enough of their job performance to really have an accurate assessment.
We'll see how the search goes on.
Everyone seems in agreement that the Bulls are taking their time which could indicate that they're interested in some candidates who are still in the playoffs as assistants.