Terence Moore from NBA Fanhouse suggests the Bulls might end up with a package deal for LeBron James. But the coach joining him in Chicago would be Boston’s Doc Rivers, not Kentucky’s John Calipari.
The Bulls would jump at the chance to hire Rivers, the Maywood native who took Boston to the 2008 NBA title. The problem is, he’s under contract with the Celtics for one more season.
That can mean only one thing: For the Bulls to even get a shot at hiring Rivers, Boston would ask for compensation.
Would the Bulls be willing to give up a first-round draft pick for the right to hire Rivers? Maybe. But the Celtics might ask for more, considering the Bulls figure to be drafting low if they do sign James.
For all we know, Boston might refuse to even consider letting Rivers jump to his hometown team. A month ago, the Celtics’ “Big Three” seemed to be washed up and finished. Now they’re three wins away from returning to the Finals. Why help a team that could end up being a playoff opponent next season?
There was speculation by the Boston Herald late in the regular season that Rivers might take a year off to spend more time with his family. He has a son heading into his junior year at Indiana, another (heavily-recruited) son who will be a high school senior in Orlando and a daughter who plays volleyball at Florida.
So it’s not even a given that Rivers would accept the chance to coach the Bulls next year. Put all this together and Doc to Chicago seems to be an unlikely scenario.
For what it's worth, Moore also thinks James is definitely joining the Bulls.
PHIL TALKS RETIREMENT
Before Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Monday, Lakers coach Phil Jackson was asked if he’s leaning toward retirement.
“I’m leaning on the podium, but that’s about it,” Jackson answered.
A few days ago in a radio interview, Jackson suggested retirement is an option. Here are the quotes from the Orange County Register:
“Well, I think pretty good,” he said of his chances of retiring after this season. “It’s really about how I feel about getting into another 82 game season. It’s a commitment.
“As you guys know, it’s not about this last month of April, May, and part of June to coach. That’s exciting, fun, challenging, and you’ve got a team in a seven-game series that brings out all those ideas and percolates things as a coach. But it’s those other 82 games, the exhibition season, and being in five different cities in eight different nights or seven different nights. It kind of wears and tears and kind of creates a life that gets a little bit ragged and a little bit jagged.
“Obviously, I have the pace of that. I know a lot about it, having done it for a large part of my life, maybe 35 years of my adult life. I’ve got a little bit of the rhythm of it, but it is something that I think about as the season gets to the end. You know, last road trip and stuff like that. You wonder, is there a time where you just feel like I’ve had enough, I just don’t want to do it anymore. It’s enough is enough.”
Jackson’s contract with the Lakers ends after this season. If he wants to the Lakers to pony up for another deal, his best leverage is to threaten retirement or threaten to leave Kobe Bryant and join LeBron James (theoretically) in Chicago.
DRAFT LOTTERY TONIGHT
Maybe results of the draft lottery will have a bearing on LeBron James’ summer decision. New Jersey could add dynamic point guard John Wall with the No. 1 draft pick and trade Devin Harris for someone who could fill another spot. Evan Turner from Ohio State and St. Joseph High School looks like a nice consolation prize at No. 2.
The Knicks’ first-round pick is already headed to Utah, so they won’t be a factor. Here are the odds:
1. New Jersey 25 percent
2. Minnesota 19.9
3. Sacramento 15.6
4. Golden State 10.4
5. Washington 10.3
6. Philadelphia 5.3
(tie) Detroit 5.3
8. L.A. Clippers 2.3
9. Utah (from NY) 2.2
10. Indiana 1.1
11. New Orleans 0.8
12. Memphis 0.7
13. Toronto 0.6
14. Houston 0.5
The Bulls agreed to swap first-round spots with Milwaukee in the John Salmons trade, but will end up falling just two spots – from 15 to 17. The NBA Draft is June 24.
LEBRON AND EDDY: The New York Daily News reported that LeBron James reached out to injury-prone Knicks center Eddy Curry about working out together this summer. The two share a connection through agent Leon Rose and probably crossed paths when James did his summer workouts in Chicago before joining the NBA.
Of course, if this is true, it could destroy any chance of James signing with the Knicks, considering Curry hasn’t flourished in coach Mike D’Antoni’s system and has never been accused of being a workout warrior.
NO PACKAGE DEAL: Several news sources agreed with the Daily Herald’s assessment that Kentucky coach John Calipari is not headed to the Bulls. Simply put, the Bulls do not believe hiring Calipari will be a condition for signing LeBron James as a free agent. Unless Phil Jackson or Doc Rivers gets involved, the Bulls’ coaching search looks like a two-man race between Maurice Cheeks and Lawrence Frank.