Chicago Bulls: Is Too Much Being Made of Tom Thibodeau's Contract Situation?

Michael GibbonsCorrespondent IIApril 2, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 22:  Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls gives instructions to Derrick Rose #1 during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center on February 22, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 110-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When Tom Thibodeau agreed to become the head coach of the Chicago Bulls he signed a contract. That contract was a two-year deal with a team option for a third season.

Thibodeau led the Bulls to the best record in the league last season and won the Coach of the Year award. This season he is well on his way to repeating both feats.

Also he is the fastest coach to 100 victories. It took him only 130 games to notch his 100th victory. The second-fastest is Avery Johnson, who took 131.

Thibodeau is currently reaching the end of that second season. There is no doubt in my mind that at the very least his option will be picked up the day the season ends.

However, yesterday during the NBA pregame show on ABC they were discussing "lame duck" coaches and mentioned both Thibodeau and Oklahoma City Thunder coach, Scott Brooks.

I was even more surprised when I read ESPN's power rankings done by Marc Stein

Can't speak for Bulls fans, but the committee (of one) is prepared to pardon a blowout loss at OKC without D-Rose because the team has generally been so resilient without him, going 14-6 in those 20 games. The Bulls lose me completely, though, when it comes to their handling of Tom Thibodeau's contract. Completely.

He then expanded on the situation in his Weekend Dime piece.

Thibodeau associates privately insist that the NBA's reigning Coach of the Year is dismayed that he hasn't been offered a more lucrative extension after signing a modest two-year contract with a team option when he joined the Bulls. Sources close to the situation say, furthermore, that his displeasure with the situation is an open secret in team circles. Although the uncertainty about his future hasn't had any discernible impact on Thibodeau's famed game-night intensity, it's a development that has to be monitored.

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 24:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Toronto Raptors at the United Center on March 24, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Raptors 102-101 in overtime. NOTE TO USER
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

What exactly are the Bulls doing wrong? How can you be a "lame duck" when you have an option for next season?

I have a hard time imagining that coach Thibodeau is focused on his contract because as Thunder coach Scott Brooks joked before the game, he has no life. Coaching is everything to him and I can't imagine him letting anything distract him from the next game or the game after that.

In all my years of following the Bulls, I don't ever recall them picking up an option before they had to or just ripping up a contract and giving you money in the middle of a season.

Knowing that is why I know that the Bulls will let Omer Asik test the free-agent market this summer as a restricted free agent and they will do the same next summer with Taj Gibson.

Both Thibodeau and chairman of the board Jerry Reinsdorf said all the right things.

"I don't know where that's coming from," Thibodeau said. "I'm not worried about any of that stuff. I'm under contract. I'm fine with everything here."

"We certainly hope and expect that Tom will be with the Bulls well beyond his current contract," Reinsdorf told the Tribune via e-mail.

Thibodeau owns the locker room. All the players are behind him including reigning MVP Derrick Rose. The Bulls would be idiots to not only pick up his option but also extend his contract when the season ends.

It actually makes no sense for Thibodeau to sign a contract extension now. Wouldn't he be due an even richer contract if he won Coach of the Year award again and was holding up the Larry O'Brien Trophy at year's end?

To me this is just a story that the national media has picked up in order to try and make it a bigger deal than it really is.

What do you think Bulls fans? Are you upset that Thibodeau's option hasn't been picked up? Sound off below.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @dachicagofan, and check out my weekly Bulls podcast every Wednesday on my site, The MG Experience.