When I first heard the Bulls were going to hire Vinny Del Negro as their next head coach, I almost flipped. Heck, they already dragged the search on so far that I figured Tom Thibodeau might as well get a shot at an interview. At least he has experience on the bench, which is a place that will be new for Del Negro next season.
However, as the day went on, I started to think about it more and more. Now, the hiring doesn't look all that bad.
After Mike D'Antoni spurned the Bulls and signed with the Knicks on May 10th, any hire John Paxson made would have been viewed as less than stellar. D'Antoni and the young, athletic Bulls squad seemed like the perfect match for D'Antoni's "run happy offense." Players such as Ben Gordon showed their approval in having the former Suns coach.
After D'Antoni was off the market, who was left? Doug Collins? Collins might have been a good hire, but if he was having second thoughts about the job, maybe it is good that he just enjoys his retirement.
Avery Johnson? On paper, he is definitely a good coach, but when you have Dirk Nowitszki, who is one of the league's most dominant forwards, it's hard not to falter. The problem is that he did falter towards the end of his stay with the Mavericks.
Dwane Casey? All he has over Del Negro is bench experience. His sub .500 coaching record with the Timberwolves and lack of motivation with young players and an always energized Kevin Garnett cost him a chance to save this young Bulls team craving motivation.
So Del Negro might not be the greatest option, but it is certainly not as bad as you might think. Former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst Tim Legler thinks that Del Negro's brain and intensity might be a good match with this team. Also, close friend and PTI co-host Michael Wilbon says that Del Negro favors an offense that is similar to the one D'Antoni had in Phoenix.
That's a positive right?
As far as him having no coaching experience, that can all be fixed if he puts together a staff of prominent assistant coaches. The Chicago Tribune reports that he is expected to bring former Spurs and Sonics coach Bob Hill on as his head assistant coach.
Who knows, this move could be great, or it could be a complete bust. However, Bulls fans need to reserve their judgment and wait to see the results that some from the hire.