Lakers Targeting Tom Thibodeau?
The Los Angeles Lakers just can’t settle on a head coach. That, or they know a golden opportunity when they see it.
Per reports, the Lakers brass could be considering yet another coaching change, as Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau figures to be on their wish list should he be made available. Thibodeau has been rumored to be on the outs in Chicago despite making the playoffs in each of the five seasons he’s manned the Bulls.
Thibodeau’s relationship with Chicago’s front office has reportedly been on the fritz for the past couple of years, and unless (and possibly even if) the Bulls made a title run this year, his job was going to be in serious jeopardy. Chicago made it to the second round of the playoffs, but lost in six games to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Despite failing to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals, Thibodeau still has a terrific track record and has kept the Bulls afloat routinely despite numerous injuries – namely to superstar point guard Derrick Rose.
The Lakers could use a coach with real direction, and while Thibs’ has been knocked for playing his stars too much and too hard, he preaches sound principles and usually gets his teams to play top shelf defense. Los Angeles is in sorry need of both after having two straight bottom-feeding seasons.
Los Angeles failed to make a title run after acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to pair with Kobe Bryant, and now that both are gone, an aging Bryant could be walking into his final year during the 2015-16 NBA season. That could force the Lakers to try hard to build a contender and get a winning coach right now, but either way, grabbing Thibodeau would also be building for the future.
Byron Scott currently holds down the fort for the Lakers, but only has one more year on his deal and got mixed reviews in his first season at the helm. Moving on from Scott to get Thibs’ wouldn’t be a bad move, and it probably would be a welcomed one. L.A. would then be paying four head coaches (Scott, Thibodeau, Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni), but it’d arguably be worth it.
It’s extremely unlikely the Lakers turn into legit title contenders over night, but even in the ultra competitive Western Conference, landing a coaching talent like Thibodeau could put them back on the map when it comes to thinking about the playoffs. Add in the #2 overall pick, last year’s top pick (Julius Randle), a healthy Kobe Bryant and anything the Lake Show can add in free agency, a quick turn around could very well be on the horizon.
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