No Longer if, but When for Chicago's Vinny Del Negro

Josh Herman@@JoshHermanPJSCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2009

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 02: Head coach Vinny Del Negro of the Chicago Bulls complains to a referee during a game against the Detroit Pistons at the United Center on December 2, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pistons 92-85. 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

According to sources, it seems as if Vinny Del Negro's fate has already been sealed, and he will now just wait until a replacement is found before officially being booted.

There have been many murmurs across Bulls-nation recently that Del Negro was on the hot seat, and honestly, who didn't see this coming?

After a promising start to the season with wins against the Spurs at home and the Cavaliers at the Q, the team has seemingly unfolded in recent weeks.

While a poor 1-and-6 Circus Trip made fans start to question the team, it wasn't until a 32-point loss against the Raptors followed by handing the Nets their second win of the season that people began looking for answers.

But now a new question arises. Who will be the next Bulls coach?

It's been said that they would prefer not to promote an assistant coach, eliminating Bernie Bickerstaff and Pete Myers from the discussion.

Former Bulls coach Doug Collins has been in discussions for the last couple of coaching vacancies for the team, but he has already said that he's not interested.

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Executive vice president and former Bulls player John Paxson was rumored to be in talks about the job, but he ultimately decided against it.

So if they won't choose from within the organization, what other names could they be looking at?

How about Byron Scott?

The former NBA player was fired earlier this season by the New Orleans Hornets, his second head coaching stop in the league.

In just over three seasons with the New Jersey Nets, Scott led them to the NBA finals in 2002 and 2003. The next season he went 22-20 and was fired.

Then with the Hornets, he took a terrible but young team from the cellar of the Western Conference to a 56-26 record in 2007-08.

After going 49-33 the next season and losing in the first round of the playoffs, he was fired after just nine games (3-6) this season.

In Scott's case it seems as if both firings were fairly premature, and if the 2007-08 NBA Coach of the Year award doesn't say enough, the guy can coach.

Another name that should be getting some attention from Bulls personnel is Lawrence Frank.

Frank was fired by the Nets after going 0-16 to start out this season, but it would be unfair to have him shoulder all the blame.

An injury to star player Devin Harris and ultimately a very young roster would better explain the reason for the terrible start.

Frank has still proved that he can win as long as he's surrounded with some talent, and I think a core of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah looks better than Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Brooke Lopez.

The Bulls would also be wise to give Avery Johnson another call this time around.

They were said to have interest in the former Mavericks coach when they ultimately decided on Del Negro, and I think they should've upped their pursuit of Johnson.

Always known for winning, he may not be the ideal guy to handle the youthful Bulls, but his career coaching record (194-70) is something that can't be ignored.

Honestly I would take any three of these guys on the staff, or at least someone who has previously had coaching experience.

I'm sure that Jerry Reinsdorf will realize the mistake that he made last time around and will hopefully bring in someone with a pedigree not only for winning but for coaching in general.

So whether it's Scott, Frank or Johnson, or another "free agent" coach like Jeff Van Gundy or Sam Mitchell, the Bulls have to choose someone with a resume, not just a nice suit and perfectly center-parted hair.

Findings were originally reported by Chris Broussard of ESPN.


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