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Bulls Introduce Thibodeau As Coach, Prepare for Draft

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 24, 2010 4:00PM

While his hiring was announced weeks ago, the Bulls formally introduced Tom Thibodeau as their new head coach on Wednesday at the Berto Center. Thibodeau comes to the Bulls after serving as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, who came within a game of winning the NBA Championship last week. While he came up just short of claiming a part of another Larry O'Brien trophy, Thibodeau checked out the Bulls' six pack. Fans and management hope he can help add more hardware to the case.

With their coaching vacancy officially filled, The Bulls' next order of business is tonight's NBA Draft. The Bulls have been actively shopping their pick (17th overall) to maintain as much salary cap flexibility as possible heading into free agency. They've even tried packaging the pick along with either Kirk Hinrich or Luol Deng, who currently have the largest contracts on the books. But GM Gar Forman says the team won't just dump the pick just for financial considerations, and given that the team has only six players under contract for 2010-2011 season, they do need players. If any skill is most desperately needed it's outside shooting, but they are expected to the the "best player available" rather than focus on a specific need or position.

2010_06_24_lebron.jpg ESPN breaks down five possibilities who might be available at pick number 17. The Sun-Times also makes their predictions. Given the lack of depth in this year draft and the guaranteed contract a first rounder receives, we still believe the Bulls plan to trade down into the second round or out of the draft entirely.

The big focus remains on luring LeBron James to Chicago when free agency begins on July 1. Are they really the front-runners in the LeBron Sweepstakes like Jalen Rose tweeted yesterday? We're not gonna take that bait but we do find ESPN Chicago's LeBron countdown just a bit much.