The Thibodeau carousel sways forward into Week 3 (Week 4?). A round up of news from a weekend the Hornets officially said we'd get no new stories from:
First up is Thibodeau's signing with a new agency: Creative Arts Agency (CAA), home of the famous (infamous?) William "World Wide" Wesley. The report from ProBasketballTalk:
Brian Windhorst tweeted that Wesley now represents Thibodeau. All that really means is Thibodeau -- who is expected to be offered the New Orleans Hornets job -- is connected now. Not that he wasn't before, but this is a different level.
What this really means is that wherever Thibodeau lands, if they can afford to bring in free agents in the next couple of years, there are connections. The back-channel connections that get things done in the NBA, and David Stern can't fine. Wesley is a good man to have in your corner that way.
Wesley has gotten a lot of publicity in the past few years, mostly for his connection to various players and most recently, his alleged recent attempts to package John Calipari and LeBron James to various NBA cities. The New York Times had a great profile of Wesley in 2008:
"There goes the most powerful man in all of basketball," one coach said softly as Wesley walked by. One of his dinner mates responded, "Who?"
"What Paris Hilton has done in Hollywood, Wes has done in the sports world," said Michael Irvin, the former star receiver in the N.F.L. who now does a radio show for ESPN. "Whoever is winning a championship, Wes is there associated with them. He’s never played a down or shot a basket, but he’s a superstar anyway."
What are the implications for Thibodeau? That's really any one's guess at this point.
Over the last week, the Bulls have definitely emerged as the Hornets' number one contender for Thibodeau. A-Woj at Y! Sports indicated over the weekend that Thibodeau would prefer Chicago over New Orleans:
Thibodeau has told confidants the Bulls job is his No. 1 choice.
That same story indicates that the Hornets have begun contract negotations with Thibodeau. That news definitely would have excited me more if the above snippet hadn't been included. A-Woj:
Hornets general manager Jeff Bower has exchanged proposals with Creative Artists Agency, which represents Thibodeau, on parameters of a possible deal. Sources say Thibodeau still plans to meet with New Jersey NetsGM Rod Thorn about his coaching vacancy sometime before the start of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
It’s unclear how close the Hornets and Thibodeau are on a possible agreement, but one thing seemed certain: Thibodeau still wants to stay in play for openings with the Nets and Chicago Bulls, and that could become a slippery slope for his candidacy in New Orleans.
Though Bower is eager to work out an agreement with Thibodeau, league sources believe the Hornets GM will quickly turn his courtship toward Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams should it seem Thibodeau is hedging in order to leverage New Orleans against the other jobs.
Chicago has indicated that it won't interview Thibodeau between now and the start of the NBA Finals. What does that imply for us? Again, as we've learned again and again in this wacky coaching search, it could mean anything.