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Thibodeau laughs off report of agreement to coach Knicks next year

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Is Tom Thibodeau headed to New York? (USATSI)
Is Tom Thibodeau headed to New York? (USATSI)

On Saturday, the New York Daily News reported something pretty bold about Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

There are rumblings around the Chicago Bulls' offices these days that Tom Thibodeau already has a deal in place to coach the Knicks next season.

Well, Thibodeau is represented by CAA, the one and only firm that Jim Dolan wants to deal with when it comes to players and coaches. But it's extremely difficult to believe that an agreement has been struck with the former Knicks assistant to come back to New York, since he's under contract to coach the Bulls through 2016-17.

You can just imagine the fallout if a Thibodeau-Knick deal were to be proven true. There wouldn't be just a major tampering case here, but Thibodeau would face sanctions from the NBA, possibly preventing his move to the Garden.

via Chicago Bulls' Tom Thibodeau to Knicks rumors only compounded after Luol Deng trade - NY Daily News.

The NYDN reported that the Bulls would tradeLuol Deng just days before Chicago moved the All-Star forward to Cleveland. Saturday night, Thibodeau laughed off the report. From CSN Chicago:

The coach dismissed the entire story out of pocket following Saturday night's 103-97 Bulls' win over the Bobcats at the United Center.

“Come on, now. Come on,” Thibodeau scoffed. “That stuff's ridiculous. It really is. First, I was being traded. I could care less about that stuff. I've said it before: I love this team, I love the guys that we have and I love the fighting spirit of this team, so that's all I'm thinking about.”

via Bulls' Tom Thibodeau denies 'agreement' with Knicks | CSN Chicago.

Couple of problems here.

One, this is far, far from the first time there's been noise about Thibodeau being unhappy with the Bulls. They slow-rolled him for an extension, like they seem to do with every situation that involves giving personnel money. Two, there was the ugly situation with assistant Ron Adams, who the Bulls let go over Thibodeau's objections.

And that CAA connection the Daily News mentioned shouldn't be overlooked. That agency has proven to have enormous power in the league.

It's not just about Thibodeau being unhappy with Chicago or the Knicks wanting him. It's that the Bulls have never shown a willingness to commit to keeping guys like Thibodeau. Thibodeau, obviously, is going to treat this as ridiculous, as coaches always do in these situations. But it bears at least watching, if not for Thibs actually leaving for the Knicks, then just to see how his relationship with Chicago's management constructing a rebuild goes. Because all this "noise" is coming from somewhere.

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