Bulls not likely to let Lakers interview Tom Thibodeau, according to report

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles may or may not want Thibs, but regardless, Chicago has no plans to let him go.

The Los Angeles Lakers may have interest in Tom Thibodeau for their head coaching vacancy, but recent indications from the Chicago Bulls signal the team "wouldn't grant permission or would place very high demands on possible compensation," for his departure, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

Thibodeau and the Bulls still have three years remaining on a $17.5 million contract extension signed last year, so any team seeking an interview needs permission from Chicago. While the team hasn't always gotten along with its star coach, the two sides have shared a good deal of success over the past four years.

On Thursday, ESPN Los Angeles reported that the Lakers would be reaching out to possible replacements for Mike D'Antoni soon, including Thibodeau. However, that always required the acquiescence of his current employer, something that appears to be unlikely.

Hired in 2011 after the firing of Vinny Del Negro, Thibodeau led the Bulls to a league-high 62 wins in his first season, eventually reaching the East Finals before dropping out to Miami. The team would remain a major contender the following season before star guard Derrick Rose tore his ACL in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.

Without Rose, the Bulls were supposed to collapse, but under Thibodeau's guidance, the team has responded by winning 93 games over the past two seasons. Thibs hasn't won a Coach of the Year award since his debut season, but he's annually considered among the better coaches in the NBA.

At times, Thibs has received criticism of his heavy, potentially questionable usage of players like Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler, but he remains highly respected in basketball coaching circles. Over four years, Thibodeau has a 205-107 record with the Bulls.

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