Now that Boston finally finished off Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals, the Bulls should finally get a chance to visit with Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau.
There were indications Bulls general manager Gar Forman was already headed to Boston for a meeting with Thibodeau on Saturday. The NBA Finals are not scheduled to begin until next Thursday.
The Bulls were hoping for a snappy coaching search after releasing Vinny Del Negro, but Boston’s second-round playoff upset against Cleveland changed everything.
After that loss, the chances LeBron James would join the Bulls as a free agent suddenly went from unlikely to realistic, while Thibodeau – highly-regarded as the Celtics’ chief strategist – rose to the top of the coaching wish list.
Ex-Portland and Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks remains a strong candidate, but the Bulls essentially put their search on hold while they waited for the chance to talk to Thibodeau, who is also considered the frontrunner for the New Orleans job.
Now the Bulls will have to wait for the conclusion of the NBA Finals to make a move on Thibodeau, but Cheeks does not appear to be a top candidate for any of the other coaching vacancies. So he figures to remain available.