Chicago Bulls' Head Coaching Candidates

Chris Murphy@@SeeMurphsTweetsAnalyst IMay 4, 2010

The Chicago Bulls have officially announced the firing of Vinny Del Negro today.

Let's a take a moment to mourn him...and now let's move on.

The Bulls' offseason just became even more crowded with work, as they must find not only a good coach but also a name that is going to draw free agents.

Let's face it; the Bulls have had some trouble hiring a steady coach since Phil Jackson. Maybe the Bulls should just hire Jackson back.

Keep dreaming

The Bulls job, however, is a somewhat attractive one with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and now Taj Gibson showing so much talent to go along with the money the Bulls have to spend in free agency.

Put this mixture of young talent with a big market team that has not escaped the second round of the playoffs in over a decade, and you have yourself an interesting job offer.

Here are the possible fillers of the Del Negro vacancy.


Good Possibility...but How Good of an Answer?

Maurice Cheeks

Sitting at 284-286, the former point guard has been a head coach twice in the NBA for the Blazers and 76ers, making the playoffs three times but never escaping the first round. He is currently an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder, so he has handled young talent before and has to be intrigued with working with Rose and Noah.

He was also born in Chicago and can help in case someone can't sing the national anthem.


Doug Collins

Collins was close to getting the Bulls' job before Del Negro, but he decided to go separate ways from Bulls management. That, however, was a different team.

At 332-287, Collins hasn't coached in the league since 2002 and hasn't won a playoff series since 1988. Collins has a 15-23 playoff record.


Byron Scott

Scott has worked with Jason Kidd and Chris Paul, so Rose could learn a thing or 10 from him.

Scott has already said he would not hang up the phone if the Bulls were to call.

"I love Chicago," Scott said to ESPN 1000. "I spend time in Chicago during the summer."

At 352-355, Scott has taken his team to the playoffs five times, including two trips to the NBA Finals.

His work ethic, however, has come into question over the years.


Good Possibilities If They Hadn't Opened Their Big Mouths

Avery Johnson

Johnson has made some comments regarding the Bulls' front office that could count against his chances, but the man has made the playoffs in all four years he's coached, sitting at 194-70 as a head coach.

In 2006, Johnson may have brought a championship to Dallas had the referees not given Dwyane Wade so many free shots.

Johnson has been known to be tough on point guards, so his relationship with Rose would be key.


Jeff Van Gundy

Van Gundy has ripped the Bulls' front office for the handling of the Del Negro situation, so I'm not sure the Bulls' front office would allow him to benefit from it.

At 430-318, Van Gundy is a name that could very well draw free agents. Out of nine full seasons with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, Van Gundy made the playoffs eight times, including one trip to the NBA Finals.


Risky Business

Tom Thibodeau

Who? You say.

Thibodeau has been a coach in the NBA since 1989 and has been known for his defensive coaching. Rumored to have been a candidate for the coaching vacancy Del Negro eventually won, Thibodeau is well-respected by John Paxson.

In 2000 under Jeff Van Gundy, Thibodeau helped the Knicks set a then-NBA record by holding 33 consecutive opponents under 100 points.

Thibodeau is mostly known for helping the defense of the most recent championship Boston Celtics team, including holding off Kobe Bryant in the NBA Finals.

Thibodeau has a solid resume, but will a coach without a lot of head coaching experience bring you free agents?


Chicago Fans Better Hope Not

Lawrence Frank

It would be hard to lure free agents with a head coach that started off 0-16 this season before being fired.

It would also be hard to explain that to ticket-holders.

Frank had some success with the New Jersey Nets, putting together four straight playoff appearances starting in 2003 and a 225-247 record overall as a head coach.


Not a Chance, but It's Fun To Talk about and Put Pictures Up To Make People Read

Phil Jackson

Bulls fans will be drooling over this possibility, but there is zero chance of it happening.

IF Jackson is to leave the Lakers, and IF he even wants to keep coaching, he will most likely want an extremely large amount of money to come back to Chicago to work for an organization with which he didn't exactly leave on the best of terms.


John Calipari

Why not illegally recruit where it's legal?

Calipari has a strong relationship with Rose, having coached him at Memphis. Rumors have said Calipari is close with LeBron James as well, so let's continue spreading them.


The Bulls have their work cut out for them to not only bring in a coach who is hungry to win, but who can work with young talent and at the same time recruit free agents.


    Steph Is Actually Better Without KD

    NBA logo

    Steph Is Actually Better Without KD

    Tom Haberstroh
    via Bleacher Report

    LeBron Rips 'Bulls--t' Data Saying He's Slow

    NBA logo

    LeBron Rips 'Bulls--t' Data Saying He's Slow

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Bud: 'Miserable Coaching Against' Giannis

    NBA logo

    Bud: 'Miserable Coaching Against' Giannis

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Mutombo Named 2018 Sager Strong Award Recipient

    NBA logo

    Mutombo Named 2018 Sager Strong Award Recipient

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report