Bulls and Thibodeau 10 million apart on extension?

File this away under the category of inside information sure to be wrong, but my sources have told me Thibs and the Bulls were 10 million apart in terms of their contract extension talks when they last finished. Per Nick Friedell, talks between Reinsdorf and Thibodeau have resumed.

First and foremost, in Friedell's article, he explicitly states talks are between Reinsdorf and Thibodeau not Gar Forman and Thibodeau's agent which isn't surprising given the Bulls history of coaching negotiations.

chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and coach Tom Thibodeau have resumed negotiations about a contract extension for Thibodeau, according to a source familiar with the situation.

By using a few data points from the press combined with what I've heard, my belief is that the Bulls are asking Thibodeau to sign for a deal of roughly 4 years 15/16 million while Thibodeau is looking for something in the range of 5 years 25/26 million meaning the majority of the gap is in the guaranteed fifth year.

K.C. Johnson noted on my podcast in July that the Bulls were squeamish about the number of guaranteed years due to the way the Scott Skiles situation ended.

The Bulls are in a tricky situation here though, if Thibs makes it to coaching free agency next year, his price will likely explode. If I'm the Lakers, Knicks, or Nets, then I'm taking my infinite budget and overpaying Thibodeau where the money won't count against the obscenely expensive tax anyway rather than overpaying some role player. These are franchises that will literally end up paying something around 10-15 million a year for guys in the 7th-8th man slot after luxury tax, they aren't going to flinch at offering Thibs 30 million total if they want him.

That said, this is also a great test case for Thibs as well. Not to see if he can coach, we know he can coach, but to see if he'll make the team hate him when it's not on the path to win the most games in the league. I don't believe Thibs is nearly so much a taskmaster as others, but if he's going to wear on a team, this would be a good year to see it when they're expected to win closer to 40 games than 60 and the payoff of wins isn't coming every night.

My guess is that something gets done before the season, and it gets done because the Bulls fold. There's no reason for Thibodeau to budge. He's got way more money waiting for him down the line if the Bulls don't pay up. However, the Bulls aren't going to find a better coach than Thibs and certainly not one willing to sign on for cheap. The message it sends to the players if they let Thibs go, in particular Rose, would also be terrible, and spending on a coach won't kill them with the tax whereas spending on cast will.

If my guesstimation of Thibs demands is fairly accurate, it simply makes more sense for the Bulls to take the best deal they can negotiate. However, if history is any guide everyone will have a bad taste in their mouth before this thing is over. The Bulls policy of negotiating directly with coaches instead of the agents while trying to talk down the numbers more or less guarantees this.

I think something will get done before the season starts. I look for something in the 20-22 million dollar range to get agreed to.

Filed under: Coaching

Tags: chicago bulls, nba, tom thibodeau


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  • I am in total agreement with you Doug. If this goes to free agency, he's gone. Get him done now. Pay him what he's worth and move on. Send a message that we are commited to our team, our coach and winning. Look we got him for the first 3 years for arround 6.5 million. If he gets 4 years 22 mill. that gives him 7 years with us for 28million. An average of 4 M per year. Who in thier right mind would have a problem with paying this man that ? Nobody. Get it done Jerry.

  • In reply to Banner 7:

    I'm cautiously optimistic that it will get done before the season starts.

  • IMO Tom Thibodeau has many limitations as I've said. However, you put him with a contender of star talent with his defensive annihilation machine stimying the likes of Kobe Bryant, and you will be sizing rings and making room for trophies.

    Hypothetically, he buys out his remaining contract with the Bulls right now(in reality not possible?), and joins the Lakers, you have just increased your odds of taking down Miami big time. His value to a contender like that is huge. You put Thibs on Miami's team, they win the next three titles guaranteed barring health issues IMO. Chicago's cheap ass ownership gouging fans retaining a difference maker like Thibs, "You're not worthy!!"

    Reinsdorf quashed John Paxson's attempts to hire Mike D'Antoni and Doug Collins which included personally affronting/insulting phone calls. To put it bluntly, the former IRS shyster and tax exemption real estate schlock, is a dick. While I would not have wanted Uncle Nutzy back or no defense D'Antoni, the point is Reinsdorf pretended his G.M./V.P. was responsible for hiring a new coach. In reality, Jerry feels free to "intervene" aka walk all over his execs at any time including the Deng resigning which hurt the team's flexibility going forward.

    You have heard about the reverse where an onwer is comited to winning and if it's a matter of money hiring a coach or resigning a player has stepped in, and said, "Look, we're paying the guy, case closed." Unfortunately for Bulls fans often it's the reverse with Jerry, the anti-win at all costs owner. Really, the anti-Thibs if you will. That's what Reinsdorf is, the anti-Thibs.

    Let's face it, if it weren't for sap enabling fans and corportae souless ticket blocks, this shit wouldn't be happeneing. But since the U.C. is filled nightly no matter what kind of chincy, fan defecating moves J.R. makes, nothing will change.

    As for Thibs, honestly as I said recently despite his shortcomings, his defensive genius and comittment to winning are such that with a star filled ball club he can absolutely be the difference in winning a championship with his defensive annihiliation machine. In all honesty, I wish he would resign right now, go to the Lakers and take down James and Wade. In fact, I'd love it. And I hope the White Sox do not make or go far in the playoffs because Jerry does not need to be rewarded for subsidizing his "passion" while screwing fans he could give a rat's ass about.

  • You know, the more you think about it the more it should piss you off.

    Seriously, nobody believes the Bulls are going to be sniffing a championship for years to come including Doug. Why shouldn't the king maker Thibs got to L.A, or OKC and take out the Heat? It would be awesome.

    And if you really like the guy and our not just using him, why stick him with the going nowhere cheap ass Bulls who as Doug just said want to confront him directly rather then through his agent to punk him out of his rightful dough. Fuck Reinsdorf and his bullshit. Thibs, get out at season's end, and go win championships with OKC or L.A. Then maybe these passionless dupes that pass for fans wll finally get the message, and leave the U.C. to the cricketts. Reinsdorf trying to chisel a class guy like Thibs through a direct confrontation YOU SUCK ASS CRACK YOU F_ING DOUCHEBAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Basically they are right there its just over the last year. This should be done either pay him more per year for a shorter deal or give him close to what he is asking for the 5 years. If this deal doesn't get done this offseason Thibs is gone and makes the Bulls look like a bunch of cheap incompetent clowns. They are so this may not worry them...

    Thibs leaves I bet Rose maybe gone too when his contract is up as the team isn't going to be contending anytime in the near future especially with some cheap ass newbie coach and an aging core. Bulls are pathetic it is really hard to follow such incompetence closely... At some point we may have to hold an intervention for Doug. :-)

  • In reply to Chad:

    Hey Chad, you BIGOT, how are you! Still thinking up ways to get Noah off the Bulls team?
    Reinsdorf knows that you and fellow monsters Edward and Juiceboxjerry are liars and haters, so he ignores all your frustrations because he knows it has nothing to do with an honest interest in the Bulls.
    The fact that you like Thibs is a signal for Reinsdorf to go the other way.
    Thibs almost destroyed Noah's career, and that tells you what you're dealing with. Noah knows that and Dereck Rose knows that. They couldn't care less if he plays out this year and never returns.
    People like you, Chad, want Thibs back because he was doing the dirty work you couldn't do.
    Noah is coming back refreshed and better after his sessions with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, despite your prayers that he not be better. That's the level of your hatred.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Sometimes I wonder if you're just trying to be funny or whether you really have some kind of head injury. But just because I have a few moments...
    "Hey Chad, you BIGOT, how are you! Still thinking up ways to get Noah off the Bulls team?"
    Don't really understand the definition of bigot here, do you? You clearly have internet access, so maybe Google it before you throw in the all-caps next time. And, incidentally, no one mentioned Noah - that would be because it has no relevance to the topic.
    "Reinsdorf knows that you and fellow monsters Edward and Juiceboxjerry are liars and haters, so he ignores all your frustrations because he knows it has nothing to do with an honest interest in the Bulls.
    The fact that you like Thibs is a signal for Reinsdorf to go the other way."
    Reindorf has no knowledge of you or anyone else on this blog that you mentioned. It's just the fantasy land that exists in your tiny little mind. He does probably like the concept of fans such as yourself though - that's because you're an idiot.
    "Thibs almost destroyed Noah's career, and that tells you what you're dealing with. Noah knows that and Dereck Rose knows that. They couldn't care less if he plays out this year and never returns.
    People like you, Chad, want Thibs back because he was doing the dirty work you couldn't do."
    I think that Chad would be the first to admit that he had no control over the Bulls administration or coaching staff. Your theory that an NBA coach, in his first stint as head coach, would deliberately try to end the career of one of his better players, thereby losing games and any chance of future employment is intriguing. And by intriguing I am again referring to the fact you are an idiot.
    "Noah is coming back refreshed and better after his sessions with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, despite your prayers that he not be better. That's the level of your hatred."
    You almost had me picturing people praying at night before bed, hoping random basketball players not fulfil their potential (such as overnight morphing into one of the top 5 centres of all time). Except you had already destroyed your credibility with all the other bat shit crazy things you come out with

  • In reply to Dave:

    I kind of missed you in the heap of garbage that's been following Noah around, stalking him and trying to make his stay in Chicago miserable.
    You probably didn't spend much time in school or you would not have questioned my use of the word "BIGOT."
    I don't have to use Google to look up the meaning of words. I grew up using words. I own a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. It says that "a BIGOT is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her opinions and prejudices." That my friend is Chad. That also is Juiceboxjerry and Edward. I can see that you most likely are cut from the same cloth.
    Jackass, the all caps is for effect. Get it?
    Did you watch Noah in the last game he played for the Bulls? If you did you wouldn't question my charge that Thibs should be arrested for asking Noah to take the floor after he almost had his foot taken off.
    This is a guy (Thibs) who enjoyed sitting a fit Noah and embarrassing him in front of friends and family in his hometown (New York) for no sane reason but to exhibit power. And he did the same thing in Chicago and many other places.
    Yet when Noah twisted his ankle and had his foot almost come off, he consented for Noah to take the floor when he could barely walk. For that Noah missed the Olympics and endangered his place on the Bulls team for the upcoming season.
    You need another lecture, thick skull?

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Thank you my retarded friend. Your skills with the dictionary are to be admired and I certainly envy your exclusive upbringing with the use of words. Perhaps now that you have your textbooks handy you could explain to us all how this definition of bigot applies to a discussion about the salary negotiations of Tom Thibodeau? I'm sure the exercise will provide a welcome distraction from your usual past time of masterbating to pictures of Noah's face photoshopped over a picture of your own obese middle aged body. I do also remember you arguing that Noah should have been allowed to play on with his sprained ankle - in fact you thought it was a conspiracy that Thibs kept him out. The whole world is involved in this conspiracy against Noah isn't it? Except for you of course. But you stick to your guns Captain Psycho - I admire your combination of tenacity and mental illness.

  • In reply to Dave:

    Let me tell you what's going to happen. If Thibs believes his own hype and quits, Phil Jackson walks in, signs a new contract and Noah who Jerry Boss' daughter calls Phil's son will have a coach who loves him and thinks the world of him.
    A lot of hangers-on or retards from the Skyles and Thibs regimes will be gone and a new era in Bulls land will open up.
    Also germs that occupy the two Bulls blogs will have to find other occupations.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:


    Have a look and remind yourself what you wrote here about Noah's injury. I have no arguments to having Phil Jackson back - but pretty low odds on that ever happening.

  • In reply to Dave:

    You have somebody attached to this blog whose job is to feed you that stuff you referred to above. Without taking everything into context at the time, you could midlead with stuff like that. But the fact remains that people like you are monsters who have never had a kind word to say about Noah since he got to the Bulls.
    I could, if I had the time and access, dig up some monstrous things people like you have said about Noah over the years.
    I don't have to look for what appears to be contradictions to respond to a charge.
    All you have ever said about Noah since he arrived in Chicago have been NEGATIVE !!!!
    You would back a dog against Noah. You had one in the form of the Turkish seven-footer!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Also, I apologise for insulting you so much. But stop being so defensive about Noah! I'm pretty sure most people here want him to remain on the team. PLEASE.

    See, I used allcaps to emphasize that last point :)

  • In reply to Dave:


    Don't even bother it is like argueing with a wall. He can't comprehend logic he is intolerantly devoted to his opinions. I never even said I disliked Noah only that he has a tendency to get injured and thus we need a solid backup (not a buster like Nazr). SlamDunk somehow took that as I am a BIGOT.

    I think he has one of those creepy stalker rooms with Noah pictures plastered all over the walls. Probably has a life size Noah doll that he sleeps with and a restraining order to boot.

  • In reply to Chad:

    You, Chad, are a shameless Liar !!!
    You are a BIGOT !!!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Dude, seriously, what is with calling everyone a bigot? If you love the NBA, odds are extraordinarily high you aren't a bigot, since you can count the good white players on one hand.

  • The Love article got me thinking a little bit, and I know we've talked about this a million times before, but realistically, what are some moves that the Bulls can make in 2014 (when their supposed plan is going to take place) to be contenders again? Doug, any thoughts?

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    Top tier of FA won't be changing teams and Bulls aren't looking like they will have a max salary spot available even if they were changing teams. You can see the player lists in past posts but it would be really surprising if one of the top guys changed teams.

    Likely their big 2014 Free Agent plan like Doug has said is going to be Loul Deng. Can't wait to over pay him for a second time...

    They opted not to rebuild via the draft route which was probably only a viable option this offseason while Rose was to be sidelined most the year. They also declined to even engage in trade talk for either of two star centers that changed teams and given their history, trading for a star player seems unrealistic. I truely don't think they have a real plan for becoming contenders again.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Rudy Gay might not be a top tier FA compared to LBJ or Melo, but he sure provide athleticism the bulls need. On top of that, if they missed out on 2014, there's K.Love in 2015.

    The bulls know their not going anywhere with their current roster. They want to remain flexible so they can acquire another star when the chance present itself.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    I think the best move they can make in 2014 is an attempt to trade for Kevin Love. There won't be anything to free agency unless the Miami threesome break up and one of them comes here, but that seems pretty unlikely.

  • The Bulls ownership always put the blame on the coach when things go wrong while giving a free pass to the garpax juggling act. Of course Garpax are yes-man so when they bring in bad contracts, its ok with papa Jerry so long as they tow the line while Thibs is expected to be superman when he is not given the talent/firepower to compete against the Heat, Lakers, OKC and the Nets and Knicks are getting better. Given this put all the blame on the coach mentality of Reinsdorf, don't look for him to cave him even when garpax blunders......like not moving the declining Deng when they had a chance and retool with a younger more athletic team.

  • Two Options:

    1) Chicago needs a 2nd pro team

    2) Jerry Reinsdorf 'retires' (due to age, health, whatever) and his son takes over. We don't know how his son Michael Reinsdorf will run the ship, but if he's 1% more about winning than making money, I'm down for it

    Also, I was listening to the ESPN 1000 shows and they were discussing the Thibs-negotiation talks. They said if this were up to Michael Reinsdorf, this deal would be done already, but since JR is running the show, we're at where we're at

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Michael Reinsdorf is a massive Bulls fan, and when he takes over the team, I expect their expenditures to change. That said, it's important to understand that Jerry is simply chairman of the board, and if Michael were to get the same position, he'd still have fiduciary responsibility to the board to generate profits.

  • alrite, to get back to the topic here. I think 4 years 20 million is a fair deal both sides can live with or 4/22. I doubt the Bulls are giving a 5 year deal since they love that flexibility word.

  • if thibs leaves though, at least we'll have a nice, buoyant thonus article posing the question, "is thibs really THAT much better than mo cheeks?" where he concludes, "in the end, spending 5M/year on a nba coach just isnt a great allocation of resources."

  • In reply to Gavolt:

    If Thibs leaves, I'll lambast Bulls management for being cheap. Given I've done so about a dozen times this summer, I would think that'd be fairly obvious.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    right, but it seems like youve gotten bored with honesty about the bulls so youve tried something else recently. your last post about the bench demonstrated that. i suppose thats almost inevitable when you have to generate content on a daily basis i guess.

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