Where there's smoke, there's fire: Could Fred Hoiberg be next man up for Bulls?


Where there's smoke, there's fire: Could Fred Hoiberg be next man up for Bulls?

Who will be the next Bulls head coach?

If you're placing a bet in Vegas, put your money on Fred Hoiberg, the current Iowa State coach.

[MORE BULLS: Tom Thibodeau dismissed as Bulls head coach]

CSNChicago.com Bull Insider Vincent Goodwill said he has heard Alvin Gentry's name thrown around, but still believes Hoiberg is the most likely replacement for Tom Thibodeau.

"The thing about Fred Hoiberg, I think he's probably gonna be the guy," Goodwill said on the Kap and Haugh show Thursday. "If I were a betting man, I'd bet on that. The thing I always think about when these situations come up is, if he's not interviewing for other jobs, if you don't hear his name being thrown out for other positions, it's either one of two things: Either he's not that good of a coach, or EVERYBODY knows he's going to one place.

"From everything that I've heard about him from people outside of Chicago, he's someone that is highly thought of."

Goodwill said he has heard of the Minnesota Timberwolves as a possible landing spot for Hoiberg if he made the jump from the college ranks, but there's been nothing concrete. Nothing like the rumors surrounding Hoiberg and the Bulls.

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It's public knowledge that the 42-year-old coach has a great relationship with the Bulls front office, supposedly even selling his house to GM Gar Forman when he moved out of Chicago.

To add more smoke to the air, the Ames Tribune published a story Thursday on how Hoiberg told a recruit he couldn't commit to Iowa State for the 2015-16:


But over a month before Pollard discussed what he called Hoiberg’s “lifelong goal” of coaching in the NBA, Hoiberg had relayed the possibility that he may have already coached his last game at his alma mater.

In early April, Hoiberg let it be known to five-star recruit Cheick Diallo that his immediate future at ISU was not a certainty, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told the Ames Tribune.

While Hoiberg did not definitively say he planned to move on to the NBA, sources said, he also communicated that he couldn’t fully commit he would be returning to ISU to coach Diallo and what figures to be a preseason top-10 Cyclones team in 2015-16.


So what are the chances Hoiberg comes to the Bulls?

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"I would say, barring anything catastrophic or anything like that," Goodwill said, "I would probably bet there's a better than 50/50 shot that Hoiberg is gonna be the next coach."

Jimmy Butler's injury produced memories for Zach LaVine, Fred Hoiberg

Jimmy Butler's injury produced memories for Zach LaVine, Fred Hoiberg

MINNEAPOLIS — That feeling of having your knee buckle out of nowhere, Zach LaVine is all-too familiar with it.

That feeling of being on the sidelines and watching Jimmy Butler’s knee give out, Fred Hoiberg has been there, too.

Different perspectives, and different reactions but Butler’s knee injury produced a sick feeling to many who watched it Friday night. Butler turned to pivot in the Timberwolves’ game against the Houston Rockets and immediately collapsed on the floor, having to be carried off.

LaVine tore his ACL in Detroit over a year ago, while it was revealed Butler suffered a right meniscus injury. But it looked all the same and LaVine understood the uncertainty Butler must’ve been feeling before the MRI revealed it wasn’t an ACL injury.

“It’s scary,” LaVine said following morning shootaround at the Target Center Saturday afternoon. “I wish him the best. You don’t want to see that happen to anybody. Especially a player of his caliber and what he’s done for the team.”

When LaVine injured his ACL, he actually played a few more minutes before being removed and going to the locker room. The time between being evaluated by doctors and them coming back feels like a lifetime.

“It’s scary. You know you hurt yourself, you don’t know how bad,” LaVine said. “You think you’re good, you’re a tough minded person trying to get through it.”

“I saw him on the ground trying to get up, (Rockets guard) Chris Paul made him sit down. Jimmy’s a tough dude. Thoughts and prayers going out to him.”

Butler and LaVine were the centerpieces of the draft day trade involving the Bulls and Timberwolves. With Butler suffering the injury the night before playing his former team a second time, the timing produced a bunch of memories.

In Hoiberg’s first year with the Bulls, Butler went down in a somewhat similar manner in Denver, a non-contact injury. It looked just as bad, and Butler was taken off the floor in a wheelchair.

Thankfully it was a right knee strain that cost him several weeks but it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Considering the minutes he’s played over the last few years, Hoiberg was asked if Butler pushes himself too hard to be on the floor.

“Jimmy he wants to be out there,” Hoiberg said. “I remember the first year in Denver, he went down with what looked to be a serious injury. Thankfully he was back on the floor after 15-16 games.”

Actually, Butler missed 11 consecutive games before coming back for a nationally-televised game against the Rockets, playing 34 minutes in a Bulls win and missing the next three games for recovery.

“We really worried when he went down but it wasn’t something that ended his season,” Hoiberg said. “Jimmy’s a worker. He’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve seen. It’s a huge reason for the type of player he is, that work ethic to make him one of the elite players in the league.”

With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury


With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury

Jimmy Butler won't be facing the Bulls a second time this season.

Butler suffered a non-contact knee injury on Friday night in Houston. The initial X-ray only revealed he didn't have any broken bones, but the MRI had to wait until Saturday.

The Timberwolves announced that the MRI revealed a meniscus injury in Butler's right knee. There is not yet word on how long the All-Star guard will be out of action, but if it wasn't already assumed that he wouldn't play against the Bulls, it's now certain.

Avoiding the ACL tear means avoiding the worse case scenario, but this is likely still going to cause Butler to miss a significant amount of time with about a quarter of the regular season remaining. An update from Shams Charania of The Vertical said Butler could return for the postseason.

The Bulls take on the Timberwolves on Saturday night. Butler dropped 38 points at the United Center in his return to Chicago exactly two weeks ago, but the Bulls won 114-113.

Butler posted on Instagram a reaction to the injury.

Saturday's game will be the returns of Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn to Minnesota after they went the other direction in the Butler trade on draft night last June.