Forman and Thibodeau need to get on the same page
(Photo Credit chicagotribune.com)
At the NBA rookie combine in the Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman were both in attendance, but did not speak to each other. This is one of the many examples of the ongoing discord between the two highest profile people on the Bulls organization.
The issues between the two started when lead assistant coach Ron Adams was not retained by the front office. Adams is now on the Boston Celtic staff, the same team that Thibs used to coach on. After that the Bulls traded away one of Thib’s most trusted players Luol Deng in the middle of the season. The move made it seem like the Bulls were going to tank this season, but the Bulls were able to make the playoffs as a No. 4 seed.
The two now enter an offseason that is critical for the franchise on several levels. The 2014 free agent class is full of established stars that include LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Despite the fact that obtaining James has a low possibility, but a slew of free agents see the Bulls as a potential destination. The Bulls recent success has been attributed to Thibs’ coaching style, and his ability to get players to follow his philosophy.
The uncertainty on whether Thibs will remain the Bulls coach of the Bulls can scare potential free agents away from the team. The top-tier free agents over the next two years include; Anthony, Lance Stephenson, Klay Thompson, DeAndre Jordan, and Marc Gasol. Each of those players have not won an NBA championship, and if they do decide to leave their current teams, they would be looking to go to a team with a realistic chance of winning it all.
The Bulls rumored replacement for Thibs would be Fred Hoiberg from Iowa State University. The is the worst hire the Bulls can make if they want a superstar to join Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Rose only has three years left under contract, and it is likely that if the Bulls start over with a brand new head coach that will lead to a mass exodus out of Chicago.
Rose’s manager and brother Reggie Rose has already criticized the Bulls front office for not making moves needed to create a champion. Another summer without making a significant moves, and the Bulls could be like the Cleveland Cavilers and lose on a MVP because they could not build around him.
The only way to stop this doomsday scenario is that Thibs and Forman have to show that they both think the Bulls are close to winning a championship, and they are willing to work together to get the players needed to make a deep playoff run. A united coaching staff and front office will allow the Bulls to pick up those top tier free agents so that they can compete with the best in the NBA.