Bulls: Odds on where Tom Thibodeau will coach next season


Bulls: Odds on where Tom Thibodeau will coach next season

It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Tom Thibodeau has coached his last game with the Bulls, citing multiple sources throughout the league.

But one of the game's best coaches doesn't figure to be out of work for long. The New Orleans Pelicans are the only team in the league without a current head coach, while Denver and Orlando have head coaches who finished the year on an interim basis.

With that in mind, Bovada revealed their initial odds for where Thibodeau will be coaching on game 1 of the 2014-15 NBA season.

New Orleans Pelicans 1/1
Orlando Magic 5/2
Chicago Bulls 3/1
Any other NBA team 4/1
Not an NBA head coach 5/1

New Orleans makes the most sense, as getting the chance to coach the game's fastest rising star in Anthony Davis would be at the top of Thibodeau's list. According to Chicago Tribune's KC Johnson both parties have interest in one another, but if the Bulls are looking for compensation in exchange for Thibodeau the Pelicans may not be willing to bite. The Pelicans interviewed Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry on Monday.

Orlando is budding with young talent, too. Last season its top five scorers were 24 years old or younger, and that's not including last year's No. 4 overall pick Aaron Gordon. They also have the fifth best lottery odds and are guaranteed a top-8 pick in next month's draft.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Then there's the Bulls. As bad as the rifts between the front office and Thibodeau have gotten, it's not easy to let go of a coach who has won 255 games and three playoff series in five seasons. Thibodeau is still cream of the crop in terms of NBA coaches, and the Bulls are likely better off keeping him than if they let him go.

The "any other team" scenario is an interesting one, as Denver is still searching for a replacement for interim Melvin Hunt. Also, Cleveland may part ways with head coach David Blatt at season's end. Wouldn't that be something for Thibodeau, who has been knocked out by LeBron James in three of the last five playoffs, team up with the game's best player? Thibodeau also has ties with Kyrie Irving, who he coached on Team USA this past summer.

Johnson also reported in the linked story above that Thibodeau may sit out the year (5/1 odds) and wait for a job to open up next season, potentially in Los Angeles with the Lakers.

Michael Porter Jr.: 'I'm the perfect fit for today's NBA game'

Michael Porter Jr.: 'I'm the perfect fit for today's NBA game'

Michael Porter Jr. grabbed some attention when he remarked that he was "perfect fit for today's NBA game" during an appearance on The Will Cain Show.

The interview went a long way towards showing off the uber-confident nature of Porter, who has consistently talked about being the best player in his class throughout the draft process. Porter also remarked that he was "an immediate impact guy," and that he "doesn't want it to take long to be one of the best players in the NBA."

His hubris has been intruiging considering the mystery surrounding the prospect.

During the interview Porter added that he would be open to doing more workouts for NBA front offices ahead of Thursday's NBA Draft. The only workout he has completed so far was his pro day workout in Chicago, and multiple reports have cited that Porter did look good shooting, though he was in an isolated setting with no defenders.

The one thing Porter has not done much throughout the process is talk about his weaknesses, which is somewhat concerning seeing as he has much to improve on. The general consensus is that a healthy Porter can get buckets at will. But if he can improve his ball-handling, rebounding and passing skills, he will be much more than a go-to scorer. Tightening his ball-handling skills is likely the key, as the ability to grab the rebound and push in transition would be a huge boon for Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg's offense.

The biggest question when it comes to Porter on the Bulls is can he fit with Lauri Markkanen? Despite receiving many favorable Kevin Durant and Paul George comparisons leading up to the draft, there is a rising sentiment that his best position in the NBA may be the power forward spot. It is not yet known if he has the foot speed to stay in front of quicker wings in today's NBA. But at six-feet-ten-inches, it is easy to imagine him having a huge advantage against slower power forwards rather than wings. While Markkanen is not currently built to be a full-time center, playing him at the five with Porter at the four would present Hoiberg with a potentially devastating closing lineup.

Versatility is the name of the game in today's league, and Michael Porter Jr. may be the key to unlocking the full potential of Hoiberg's pace-and-space attack. 

Paul Zipser says he is unlikely to return to Bulls


Paul Zipser says he is unlikely to return to Bulls

Just two years after being drafted in the second round, Paul Zipser told German media that he doesn’t see the Bulls wanting him next season.

The Bulls have until mid-July to pick up Zipser's option.

"I would not be surprised if they no longer want me.” Zipser said in German and translated via Google Translate

“Actually, I'm pretty sure I will not play in Chicago soon.”

Last month, Zipser had surgery on his fractured left foot, in his native country of Germany, which grew speculation the Bulls wouldn’t pick up his player option for next season. Zipser said the surgery "went perfectly."

Zipser showed some flashes of potential in his rookie season, averaging 5.5 per game and 2.8 rebounds in 44 games. But this past season, he played more games, but injuries derailed him from improving his overall production. He finished with four points and 2.4 rebounds in 54 games, including 12 starts.

Zipser explained that things changed from his first year to his second year.

“They were very varied," Zipser said. "The first year was just going very well. I fought my way into the team from the beginning and showed how I can help the team. The Bulls just needed someone like me. That's why it worked so well. We benefited from each other - that's why we were successful.”

“That was very different. It was not right from the beginning, and I was already struggling with my injury. It was not quite clear what it is. If you have pain in your foot, you automatically go down a bit with intensity. You just do not want to hurt yourself and be completely out. It was then difficult for me to keep my head in the sport - I did not manage that well. Nevertheless, the injury should not be an excuse.”

Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Zipser might not dress up in a Bulls uniform next year.