Apparently the Sun-Times got it wrong (not that it's their fault given what Ainge said), and the Tribune had it right in my Thibodeau updates from yesterday. The Bulls did meet with Thibodeau, and they really like him.
The Bulls are strongly considering offering their head coaching
vacancy to Tom Thibodeau after interviewing the Celtics' associate head
coach in Los Angeles late Wednesday night.
General manager Gar
Forman and senior vice president John Paxson returned to Chicago
Thursday and had positive conversations with team Chairman Jerry
Reinsdorf, typically a sign that contract negotiations will follow.
Mike McGraw adds that the Bulls met with Thibodeau a second time Thursday afternooon:
As it turns out, the Bulls management team was able to meet with Boston
assistant Tom Thibodeau both Wednesday night and again Thursday
afternoon. The meetings took place with the blessing of Celtics coach
Though Thibodeau has no head coaching experience, he's at the top of my board for our head coaching position.
1: He's not a rookie coach. He has a ton of experience, and he's been a part of deep playoff runs as an assistant.
2: He's not an assistant who's standing around taking directions all the time. He's known as an architect of his team's defense. He's a guy who knows basketball and designs plays.
3: He brings more prestige to the table than any other candidate available. He does more to attract free agents than any other coach in my opinion.
It will be interesting to see how much Thibodeau's offered in terms of his contract. Rookie head coaches typically make in the two million dollar a year range, but Thibodeau has three separate teams bidding on him and carries more cache than other head coaches.