Tom Thibodeau denies Knicks rumors

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls head coach was forced to deny a report he's headed to the Knicks next season.

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau laughed off a rumor that he has a deal in place to coach the New York Knicks next season, according to Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago.

The rumor came from Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, who said there are "rumblings" around the Bulls front office that Thibodeau has reached an agreement with the Knicks for next year.

Thibodeau was asked about the report after his Bulls beat the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night, and he steadfastly denied it:

"Come on, now. Come on," Thibodeau scoffed. "That stuff's ridiculous. It really is. First, I was being traded. I could care less about that stuff. I've said it before: I love this team, I love the guys that we have and I love the fighting spirit of this team, so that's all I'm thinking about."

Thibodeau does have some links to the Knicks, as he was a longtime assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy and is represented by CAA, the preferred agency of Knicks owner James Dolan. There have also been reports of a rift between Thibodeau and Bulls general manager Gar Forman over the release of assistant coach Ron Adams, and Lawrence says the head coach was "kept in the dark" about the recent Luol Deng trade.

However, there's very little reason to believe Thibodeau is headed to New York next year. He's in the first year of a four-year, $18 million deal he signed last season, and while the Bulls are in the midst of a rough patch right now, the future is bright as long as Derrick Rose returns healthy. It's certainly hard to argue the Knicks are in a better position than the Bulls moving forward.

Not to mention the fact that having some type of deal in place with the Knicks would be regarded as tampering, which would likely bring about some punishment from the league. And even if the Bulls considered moving Thibodeau for an asset in the offseason, the Knicks don't really have much to offer.

So while Thibodeau to the Knicks is a cute idea and all, don't expect it to happen.

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