Former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau made his return to Chicago on Friday at the Quest Multiplex for the 2016 NBA Draft Combine. He was asked by the media about his new team, as well as his thoughts on the Bulls’ disappointing season.
“It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to the challenge. We have, I think, the best young core of talent in the league but we have a lot of work to be done. And we’re looking forward to it,” Thibodeau told CSN Chicago.
The 58-year-old head coach added that it was difficult for him to watch his former team struggle with their chemistry and health. He also mentioned that the injury to Joakim Noah was very devastating to the Bulls season.
“It was hard to watch from the standpoint of watching Joakim get hurt. You never want to see that. Having been here, I know how important he is to the team. That part was hard. I think if he didn’t get hurt, it would’ve been a great season for them,” Thibodeau said.
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Those comments will lead to several NBA rumors about Thibodeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves going after Joakim Noah, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. However, the Bulls have insisted that they want to re-sign Noah despite being unhealthy in the past two seasons.
According to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune, Minnesota may go after Noah this offseason and become an additional veteran to a very young team. He will form a great partnership with Kevin Garnett, if he does not retire, as the vocal leaders of the Timberwolves.
Noah also has a mutual respect to Thibodeau since he became one the league’s best defensive players under him. His agent, Bill Duffy, also represents two Timberwolves players Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.
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Nonetheless, the Bulls will try to retain their leader but they will also have a hard time making decisions regarding the future of Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose. Both of them have been part of many trade rumors in the past several months.
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