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Johnson Leading Nets Candidate with Thibodeau Likely for Bulls


After a day of fast moving developments, it now looks like Tom Thibodeau is headed for Chicago, leaving the Hornets in the lurch and setting up Avery Johnson as the leading candidate to coach the Nets next season, the Post's' Fred Kerber and Peter Vecsey report.

With Jeff Van Gundy rejecting a Nets' offer and Thibodeau seemingly headed for the Bulls, Johnson "now seems like the leader", the Post reports.  Johnson, who met with Rod Thorn over the Memorial Day weekend, is also in the mix for the Hawks job and Mike Brown, fired by the Cavaliers, remains a Nets' candidate as well.

On Wednesday evening, Thibodeau rejected a New Orleans ultimatum after reports in both ESPN and Sports Illustrated suggested the Celtic assistant wanted to wait and see what the Nets and Bulls would offer him.  Thibodeau spoke with Rod Thorn on Tuesday before the Celtics left for Los Angeles, but the two did not meet.  Later Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls had sent its general manager and senior vice president to Los Angeles to speak with Thibodeau. The Celtics denied the report.

And while Chris Mannix of SI reported Thibodeau was "enthralled" by the Nets, the Post reports Thibodeau is "almost guaranteed to wind up with the Bulls".  Thibodeau and LeBron James share an agent and advisor and it's believed that's a key reason the Bulls want him.  Mannix, Kerber and Vecsey also report the Celtics' assistant may want to wait to see if Doc Rivers leaves Boston but is unlikely to get the job.