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NBA Rumors: Grizzlies Could Make A Run At Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau

The Memphis Grizzlies may attempt to trade for Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and allow him to choose his own personnel.

Tom Thibodeau
Tom Thibodeau

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

These days, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has been mentioned as a possible target of a lot teams, none of which are the Chicago Bulls.

Grantland’s Bill Simmons reported that he’s heard that if the Memphis Grizzlies decide to clean house, ownership may pursue a trade for Thibodeau and reel him in with an opportunity to coach and be a part of the personnel selection, much like Stan Van Gundy recently received from the Detroit Pistons.

The Grizzlies fired CEO. Jason Levien on Monday due to a rift between he and controlling owner Robert Pera. Director of player personnel and basketball development Stu Lash was also let go, and general manager Chris Wallace was promoted into that role on an interim basis.

Levien’s most notable decision was cutting ties with Lionel Hollins after he led Memphis to a franchise-record 56 wins and a Western Conference finals appearance in the 2012-13 season. Levien replaced Hollins with assistant Dave Joerger, who led the team to a 50-32 mark this season and a first-round loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

According to, Pera expressed “internal dismay” with Joerger early on in the season and was considering firing the rookie coach before the Grizzlies righted the ship.

If management elects to remove Joerger from his post, it could have major ramifications for not only Memphis, but the Bulls and potentially the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A potential move for acquire Thibodeau from Chicago would likely have to include a future first-round draft pick and a deal in the range of Van Gundy’s, which was worth $35 million over five years to be the head coach and president of basketball operations.

Then Joerger may be pursued by Flip Saunders, who runs the show for the Timberwolves who also have a head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported.

If Thibodeau left the Bulls, the team’s first target would be Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, according to Simmons. The team would use the first-round pick acquired via Memphis to try and make a deal for 2015’s biggest free-agent prize, Kevin Love.

Love previously named Chicago and Golden State as teams he’d be interested in playing for.

Hoiberg is also a rumored target of both the Lakers and Timberwolves.

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