According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “Vinny Del Negro met with Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Sunday, but the embattled coach’s 11th-hour argument to keep his job won’t change what the Tribune has reported since December 2009: Del Negro is expected to be dismissed with one year and roughly $2 million remaining on his guaranteed three-year contract. Barring a snag, the Bulls will make this news official Tuesday.”
Shock. Surprise. More shock.
Of course, we won’t know “for certain” this is true until tomorrow…but it feels about right, doesn’t it? Vinny — for all his good points and his bad — was more or less hired into lame duck status. A place holder. A book mark. A footnote. An afterthought.
At this point, there’s really no reason to argue his merits (overachieved with an undertalented team) or his pitfalls (terrible out of timeouts and with in-game adjustments). The Del Negro era is (most probably) over.
So what now?
According to the ESPN NBA Rumors page, here are some possible successors:
Dallas assistant Dwane Casey:
Ken Berger of CBS Sports writes that Casey “would receive serious consideration” if Del Negro is let go.
He’s had success with an All-Star point guard already in Chris Paul, and says he’d be open to Chicago.
Ex-Nets coach Lawrence Frank:
When Del Negro was on the outs in December, his name was mentioned.
Boston associate coach Tom Thibodeau:
He could bring a defensive mindset to the team.
Would he leave his TV gig to coach in the league again?
Kevin McHale, Maurice Cheeks. The Chicago Tribune reports these two could be in the mix.
I sincerely hope that McHale isn’t serious consideration. Love the name, hate the baggage. In fact, I’m not real high on this list in general, although Thibodeau kind of sparks my interest. However, the Bulls were (when healthy) pretty good on defense and abominable on offense. Tom would certainly need an offensive-minded assistant.