The Chicago Bulls may fire Tom Thibodeau after the season even if they win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs, as the front office is looking to move on from the head coach and if that happens, this summer should be very interesting as the team tries to keep Jimmy Butler in free agency and they also could chase names like Greg Monroe, Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Bulls and Thibodeau have had a tense relationship for the past couple years and that has been no secret, but the two sides have been able to make it work. Based on reports though, it looks like the team is ready to move on and it doesn't appear that Thibodeau can do anything to change the situation. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Bulls management "can't wait to rid itself" of Thibodeau and that this year it doesn't matter how far the team gets in the playoffs.
The Bulls obviously still want to win this year, but the report says that Thibodeau is gone no matter what happens. According to Yahoo Sports, Thibodeau has "worn out" some in the organization and the team now wants to move in a different direction. Brian Windhorst from ESPN spoke on the radio about the Bulls moving forward and he said it's "highly likely" and "nearly certain" that the Bulls make a move with Thibodeau after the season.
Thibodeau has been one of the best coaches in the NBA during his run with the Bulls and he has had to lead his team without Derrick Rose healthy multiple times. The Warriors made a move last year and brought in Steve Kerr after winning over 50 games and now the Bulls could look at doing the same with Thibodeau, even if the team makes a finals run.
The offseason will be interesting no matter what happens with Thibodeau, as the team has Jimmy Butler hitting restricted free agency. Reports have the Bulls matching any offer that Butler gets, but if the Knicks or Lakers blow them away with a big number, the team could be in a tough position. Love is unlikely even if he hits the free agent market, but Windhorst said that the Bulls were "one of the top teams" going for a Love trade last summer and could pick up on him if he opts out of his contract in Cleveland.
The Bulls picked the right year to be a really good team and they got a bit lucky with the injury to Kevin Love. While the team would have had a solid chance against the Cavs with Love, the Bulls are in a much better position to win with him out and if they can get past the Cavaliers, the Bulls may emerge as the overall favorites in the NBA for the title.
The Warriors won 67 games, but they lost at home to the Grizzlies and they have not proven they can make a deep run yet. The whole Thibodeau issue will be present as long as the Bulls stay alive. The team won over the Bucks in the first round and now have the Cavs, while the Hawks and Wizards play in the other series.