Tom Thibodeau looks like a bargain as Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy land jobs

Tom Thibodeau looks like a bargain as Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy land jobs

There were thoughts about whether the Bulls would give permission to teams to interview Tom Thibodeau, but after looking at the coaching market out there, those thoughts get scarier and scarier.

Stan Van Gundy signed for 35 million over five seasons to coach the Pistons as well as handle the role of team president. I'm always a little wary of guys who have too much responsibility in this case, but he'll have control over the roster he has to coach.

While expensive, Stan Van Gundy proved himself in Orlando where he took the Magic to the finals. A feat that looks more impressive over time as Dwight Howard on the Rockets and Lakers with better players around him experienced considerably less success.

Stan Van Gundy I get. What I don't get is how two teams ended up in a bidding war over Steve Kerr. I'm sure Kerr's a bright guy, but his GM work in Phoenix wasn't particularly good, his analysis in the playoffs concluded that the Bulls simply needed to play more Boozer, and he's never coached at the NBA or college level before.

Too bad he didn't land in NY, then maybe that Boozer for Melo sign and trade would have had a chance.

Now I'm not against Steve Kerr landing a job, but the job he landed is going to pay him 25 million over the next five seasons. That's elite coaching money in terms of length of contract and total money. Seems like a big price tag for a guy who's effectively a big gamble.

As for Chicago, they locked Tom Thibodeau in at around 4.5 million per season and have there seasons left on that deal. They committed for one less season and seven million less in money than what the Warriors gave Kerr. They did that to get a guy who was coach of the year and runner up for the award to sign an extension.

I wonder if Tom's regretting that one now. Without Rose healthy, the team prospects haven't been anything special, and if he was a FA coach right now with the Lakers, Knicks, and Warriors fighting over him? It'd probably be raining 10 million plus per year on Tom.

Whatever faults we have with Thibodeau, the coaching free agent market sure looks a lot worse.


Leave a comment
  • Didn't Kerr GM the Suns team that made it to the conference finals a couple of times? Weren't they one Robert Horry sucker punch away from making the finals? I'd say he was a pretty good GM. Not sure how that translates into coaching. And it sounds like he burned a bridge with Phil Jackson.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Saw this post thought it was funny because I remember him as being an utterly incompetent GM.

    Is Steve Kerr the Worst GM Ever?

    Season One:

    *First week: Kerr told Shawn Marion he wasn't worth a top contract which alienated their best athlete as well as best all around player.

    *Marion traded for Shaq. The team lost all continuity and athleticism over night.

    *D'Antoni is forced out. The previous year's Coach of the Year is essentially forced out of town even after building the most exciting offense in the NBA in years.
    Update : To put it in perspective, when Steve Kerr became GM of the Phoenix Suns, they were considered title contenders. In less than two years they are cellar dwellers.

    Has anyone had a worse track record in such a short time?

    Season Two:

    *Terry Porter is hired to install offense. Within weeks it becomes obvious Porter is over his head and the players don't believe in him. They not only can't play defense, but their offense dies overnight.

    *Boris Diaw & Raja Bell traded. All defense and what is left of the best all around players are traded for Jason Richardson, who plays no defense.

    *Suddenly superstar Amare Stoudamire is a malcontent and must be let walk for nothing.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Those are the facts on the ground. The only thing that I will say in his defense is that he was working for an owner(Robert Sarver) who was cheaping out on everything he could over a several year period(remember that's how we got the draft pick to take Deng).

    If that team had made all of its moves based on winning rather than on money, they would have won multiple championships in the 00's I believe that Kerr eventually left that job because of Sarver's cheap ways.

  • Yeah Thibs would be making it rain if he were a free agent and it would have meant zero chance the Bulls would have landed him had he tested the market.

    GarPax should be doing whatever it takes to keep him happy with Rose future in doubt he is argueably the best asset they have. Going around firing his top assistants behind his back not the best way to keep a top 3 coach happy.

  • Thibs as an assistant or associate/defensive head coach is a champion and nearly two time champion with the Celtics. If you give him enough offensive talent I do think it's POSSIBLE(not a sure thing) he can win as the head coach, but that 2010 supposed Bulls contender with such contradictory of a champion low playoff efficiency numbers was not that team IMO. What'd we have Keith Bogans, Ronnie, and C.J. platoon SG's - not good enough.

    Even if you are annoyed with Thibs as Doug says the question is really where are you going to find someone better? So how do we give Tom something better to work with then a last place punchless, pathetic offense? If Rose somehow comes back healthy and returns even just to be a good player, and Mirotic somehow emerges as an offensive stud 18-19ppg and up on high efficiency with good three point shooting then maybe you're going somewhere.

    Right now my question is can they bring Mirotic over this summer(?) which is crucial to how you restructure this team. If so do you trade Taj to gain strength elsewhere as in a quality shooter/wing/SG and is there someone out there who fits that description? Afflallo or who? Or a trade dumping salary to target a FA? Or try to move up in this draft? Do you take the chance Mirotic is going to be good or do you wait and see and try to cram in all the key components Noah, Taj, Rose etc. under the cap? I suspect conservative Gar/Pax will do the latter if they can.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    The big issue with Mirotic is he still has a large buyout from his Euro contract. It's approximately $2.5 million and Bulls can only pay $600,000 by league rules. If Mirotic comes over in 2015 his Euro contract buyout has expired. But Bulls need Mirotic NOW, not in 2015....

    Solution? I think Derrick Rose owes it to Bulls fans everywhere to cover the $2 million out-of-pocket hit Mirotic will take if he comes over this season. In addition to his $20 million salary Rose makes about another $20 million off-the-court with his Adidas contract and others.

    Now Rose probably cannot do this under NBA rules so a Mikhail Prokhorov - Andrei Kirlenko type arrangement must be implemented. Have an acquaintance of Joakim Noah's funnel the money through Cameroon or Nigeria and the NBA won't be able to prove a thing. C'mon Derrick, 50 games in 3 seasons with all the coin you're pullin' down? You owe us this much....

  • In reply to Edward:

    easier said that done...

  • In reply to Granby:

    Not that much more difficult than arranging for someone else to take the ACT Test for you in another city...

  • Side Note: when you think about it NBA championship teams, the core star(Pierce, Parker, Wade, Bryant - in essence drafted/stolen, James, M.J.) comes through the draft. Sometimes shooting and scoring pieces too Mario Chalmers, Derek Fisher, Ginobli.

    Is Derrick really going to be that star or co-star again? I guess you better hope so otherwise minus poor finishes/fire sale for picks/tanking that high lottery pick just isn't going to be there. Mean while fairly reliable barometer's latest mock shows Rodney Hood at 16. He may be your best shot at stealing a prolific scorer out of this draft in respect to that low/where the Bulls are picking. If Taj stays and Mirotic comes over then maybe you skip Payne and go for Hood and another shooter/scorer in Jordan Adams. Out of the two maybe you get one successful hit. Provided you put a gun to Thib's head and force him to play these guys that is.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I tend to agree - I HATE trading Taj because he's going to have 3-4 awesome years with great D and vastly improved offense.

    However, I'd sacrifice him for a Melo-Mirotic combo next year.

    Especially, if you can package Gibson, both 2014 picks, the Sactown 2015 pick, and possibly another pick or asset to move up...

    or maybe just package one pick and Gibson to move up slightly?

  • In reply to Granby:

    So on one hand Taj is going to be awesome for the next 3-4 years, but on the other hand you need Taj and 4 #1's to move up into the top 5-10 in the draft. If Taj is really all that, you should be able to trade him for a lottery pick straight up. You can't have it both ways.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bigway, I am talking about getting into the top 5-7 picks to get a difference maker.

    What you say about Gibson is true, but you know that those picks are untradeable. If you are a crappy team like the Magic or Jazz or Bucks, would you trade for Gibson and a couple of mid-round picks? Probably not. Gibson holds a lot of value, but rookie contracts are like gold and these crappy teams are desperate to hit it big with Wiggins, Exum, Embiid, Gordon, etc...

  • In reply to Granby:

    That's basically my point, what is the highest pick that would even be available based on the teams that hold them. The only teams that would be interested in Taj would be veteran teams that think that they could compete next season. those teams are generally not in the lottery. Maybe the Lakers think that way, but they need to start reloading with superstar talent for the future.

    Your not getting a top 5 pick, So does anybody in the top 6-10 picks trade us their pick for Taj, and then how many additional first do we have to give up. You left off Parker and Randle and Smart, thats 7 guys right there, although Gordon is probably not top 6.

    For instance would you trade Taj and both our picks for Dario Saric who is likely to go 8-10, depending on whether he signs in Europe or not.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Heck, would anyone take Taj for the pick that nets Noah Vonleh(another guy in that 7-10 range), probably not.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Not on the surface, but if removing Taj's $8 mil and another $4 mil from the two mid round 1st picks ($12 mil savings) and adding Vonleh at $3 mil or whatever... ($9 mil net savings - using arbitrary salary numbers)

    Money that can be used to sign Melo and Mirotic. THAT'S MY POINT.

    So, would you rather have Mirotic and Taj Gibson and two mid-1st round rookies? Or, Melo, Mirotic and Vonleh?

  • "When Phil Jackson asks you to coach the Knicks, how do you say no? I think they're going to turn it around, but going to be a big undertaking and it's going to take time. The idea of doing that 3,000 miles from home, it just didn't feel right."


    I seriously think the Bulls have a shot and should do something creative to get Melo here with Mirotic - even at the expense of trading both 2014 picks and the Sactown pick (which may amount to a future 2nd only...) and Gibson to move up a few spots in this year's draft.

    (NY won't sign and trade Melo, IMO, due to luxury taxes...)

    If Melo will come, go all-in on the Rose-Melo-Mirotic-Noah-2014 lotto rookie TBD era.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I forget to say, but the quotes above are from Kerr.

  • I believe that Phil Jackson is the only coach in history to get $10 or more per season to coach. Not sure anybody else has ever gotten more than $6 million. So I doubt that Thibs would have gotten anymore than that or what Kerr was paid. But you are right we would have had to pay a lot to get someone to replace Thibs, or settled for a lesser name.

  • If I was the Bulls, I would put Coach Tibbs on the trade market......a couple of #1 a player........or we can watch the Bulls get over worked and end in another first round series with Coach Tibbs!.....lets face it......Bulls FO & Tibbs are not good buddies anyway.

Leave a comment