Thibodeau running the show

Per Yahoo sports:

Thibodeau has been assertive with Chicago Bulls management on his
coaching staff and roster, and he pushed hard to get veteran assistant
and management favorite Pete Myers off his bench and back into the front
office. Thibodeau has created clear boundaries between the front office
and coaching staff - something former Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro
probably wished he would've been allowed to do.

Thibodeau has
promised a grueling training camp, and he'll undoubtedly be an
emotional, demanding coach. It's no surprise he's pushed for as many of
his guys to fill out the roster, including Brian Scalabrine and
John Lucas III. Thibodeau has had significant say in every Bulls
personnel move, and the pressure will be on him to deliver this season.
The Bulls have given him wide latitude to operate within the

Thibodeau's ability to cultivate relationships with
his star players, especially his young cornerstones - Derrick
Rose and Joakim Noah - will be paramount for his success.
One thing to watch: Noah and the Bulls are still far apart on a contract
extension, sources said, and there are no assurances they'll have a
resolution before the start of the season.

It's interesting that the Bulls have put so much faith in Thibodeau and allowed him as much latitude as they have.  While I'm sure Thibodeau had input on the process in free agency, the most controversial decision was not trying to bring in Anthony Morrow, but even that isn't too controversial given that Redick was on an offer sheet at the time.  Thus I'm not going to credit him much one way or the other with how things worked out.  The best part of the off-season was the creative financing the Bulls used with the non-guaranteed deals.

As for the end roster moves that Thibodeau really controlled, I'm not a huge fan of bringing in Scalabrine over say Bobby Simmons as I see Scalabrine having little on court value.  However, Lucas has at least some potential as a three point shooter for the team.  How these moves contribute in an intangible way will never be easily judged, but I'm certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point.

The pressure is definitely on Thibodeau to deliver immediately.  Assuming a relatively healthy season, I'd say anything less than 48 qualifies as a disappointment and most fans probably expect 50+ wins.  When it comes to playoff time, a second round appearance is the minimum acceptable level now as well.

I'm glad Thibodeau was given the reins to run things in terms of his end of bench players and assistants.  I expect him to win the team over in training camp.   After VDN, grueling practices will feel like the necessary work to get ready for the season rather than a punishment. 

As for the Noah extension, not only are there no assurances on one getting worked out, it's hard for me to see a contract extension in the Bulls best interest unless Noah's price comes to below 12 million a season.  I'd expect an extension not to get done, the new CBA, Noah's injury history, and his lack of sustained proven success all combine to give the Bulls much less downide to waiting than upside.


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  • 1. This is a good philosophy. Let the coach get the bench players so that he gets the players he likes but the main players are decided by the FO based on talent rather than coach's likes/dislikes.
    2. I am a little wary of Thibs. He looks promising but there are no guarantees. Until we see how he handles the various head coaching duties and doesn't get too bogged down in intricate details and micro-manages, I will be a little skeptical.
    3. Scalabrine/Simmons come into importance only in case of injuries. So hopefully, it shouldn't matter much.
    4. Doug is kind of slowly lowering expectations on Noah. Noah/Boozer have to be there together...otherwise I think both of them individually on the team is pretty average and will have match-up issues...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    What do you mean Doug is lowering expectations on Noah? He's simply saying there's no motivating factor for the Bulls to get a deal done unless Noah comes down to their already very fair offer. The impending CBA as well as other aforementioned factors just don't play in Noahs favor. There is a strong possibility if not likelyhood Noahs value stays the same or goes down. So its smart management to hold strong on the current offer.

  • FYI:

    Ime Udoka could be getting an invite to camp, as well.

    Source: ChicagoBreakingSports


    Go to and vote for the Bulls as the Greatest Team.

    Right now, they are in the quarterfinals vs. the Celtics. At last check, it was tied at 50%.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Bulls 50.7, Celtics 49.3 @4:30 AM eastern.

  • Doug, you're the only media person I've seen express regret at Bulls not signing Anthony Morrow - and I agree. Aside from landing a total stud all-star SG, Morrow was a great option for Bulls as he is one of the purest shooters in the entire NBA, a definite Bulls need.

    Do you think Noah's contract demands will make Bulls more likely to include him in an offer for Melo? I like Noah a lot, but don't want Bulls committed to two massive contracts for non-all-star players - that's not a recipe for NBA titles.

  • If Noah's camp is balking at 5 years and $60 mil, the Bulls should hold out until next season. As much as I like Noah, he could very well have reached his ceiling. And based on last season, 5/60 is more than reasonable. If he shows significant improvement then the Bulls would be willing to give him more.

    I keep thinking about Juwan Howard. He had a solid rookie season, an outstanding 2nd half of his 2nd season, and then got a HUGE contract. And he never really got any better. He was criticized as one of those athletes that got lazy after getting a big contract. The truth was he had simply hit his plateau. And the Wizards, trying to keep him from being overpaid by Miami, overpaid more to keep him.

    In terms of rebounding and defense and energy, Noah is ahead of Howard. Noah, however, played three years of college ball and is going into his 4th season. If he hasn't peaked, he's about to. I still don't think they should trade him AND for Melo without finding a way to replace Noah with a solid defensive and rebounding big. But if Noah won't take 5/60 now, make him prove he's worth more during the season.

  • I meant to say "I still don't think they should trade Noah AND *Deng* for Melo without finding a way to replace Noah with a solid defensive and rebounding big."

  • He's referring to Juwan Howard not Dwight Howard. Lol

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Yes. Juwan. DEFINITELY not Dwight!

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    It's going to be tough to defeat Miami even if Melo is around. Everyone beats their chest during the start of the season/series but reality sets in once the games start. Last year, against Boston...Jamison absolutely was taken to school by Garnett. If Jamison was halfway decent...LBJ would be in Cleveland now.
    So, it's going to be tough to beat up LBJ unless Wade is hurt..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You're overestimating the Heat schaumbo. If the bulls can get a great first half out of Deng,raising his trade value, and Melo refuses to sign extensions with Nets/Rockets, I could easily see Denver taking a Deng, Taj, 2 1st round picks, cash offer. Rose Brewer Melo Noah Boozer plus our bench(really the difference maker) would compete with the Heat.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Especially if Thibs can get that Bulls' defense on par with his Celtics defensive teams of the last few seasons.

  • I have a very hard time believing the Bulls offered 5/60 based on the last 7 years. A very, very hard time. I think that is what Noah's agent is trying to get to and why we heard about it.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I agree, I can't see the Bulls opening salvo being any more than 5/50.

  • And I like the room to operate the bulls are giving Thibs. I hope it pays dividends quickly.

  • How do you know if Juwan Howard would be better than Noah unless they play head to head? If you are basing on stats, Juwan was probably a more featured player on offense than Noah. If you are thinking Dwight Howard, then you probably got mixed up with the Howards...

  • Unless there's a hard cap coming... that would be a game changer and something management may need to be weary of, and wait until the new CBA for any extensions.

  • In reply to mcooper81:

    They can't just create a hard cap punishing teams for players they already have signed. Ex post facto. It would be for future signings I believe.

  • Juwan Howard? Really? You think JUWAN Howard was a better defender and rebounder than Noah? Are you thinking about Dwight Howard?

  • This things take time to sort out I guess. For ex: NO might be ok to take Deng or even Minnesota, LAC, Golden State,SAC all can use Deng. He is young and can grow with them. The best thing about Deng is he doesn't dominate the ball to score. Also, his contract doesn't look too bad after this off-season. I think most people are telling his contract is bad in relation to this off-season. But once the reality hit of Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay making gazillions of money...Deng looks alright.

    I also think Avery Johnson is one of the most despicable people in the NBA...He lied about Rose publicly to curry himself a job with the Nets. Plus, he is probably lying. If Favors or Lopez is not going for Melo....he must be delusional or talking crap..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agreed, Avery Johnson is an ass clown.

  • He kept talking on ESPN during the LBJ drama that LBJ is a better fit in NJ compared to Chi. LBJ would fit better with Harris,Lopez than Rose, Noah as per AJ. I think somebody even asked him how can you say that when Rose is a better PG than Harris...but he said that Rose dominates the ball for LBJ to be successful and the point is it was the time when he was rejected for the Bulls job(no interview was in the news and he was rumored for NJ job)...It couldn't have been more obvious if you watch it on screen because he was not really breaking it down either..

  • We are talking about the Reinsdorf owned Bulls here, aren't we? No way they'll ever spend like Dr. Buss's Lakers.

    Lakers are 1st in NBA team salary at $95 million.
    Bulls are 21st in NBA team salary at $55 million.

    The history of the two owners are really not at all comparable on this issue. So high salaries to non allstars does affect the Bulls as they won't continue to spend like the Lakers.

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