A report out of Los Angeles suggested the Lakers will ask the Bulls permission to contact Tom Thibodeau about the team's head-coaching vacancy. But there is no reason to think this scenario will break up the Bulls.
For one thing, Thibodeau is under contract for four more years and the Bulls likely would deny permission. The Lakers are not going to offer their first-round draft pick as compensation for Thibodeau, which is probably the only way to get the Bulls' attention.
The Lakers (27-55) finished with the league's sixth-worst record, missing the playoffs for just the sixth time in the team's 66-year history.
There also is no shortage of candidates to replace Mike D'Antoni, who resigned Wednesday. The Los Angeles Times offered a list of George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, ex-Lakers Byron Scott and Kurt Rambis, along with college coaches John Calipari and Kevin Ollie as potential interviews.
Others outlets suggested former Memphis coach Lionel Hollins, ex-Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy and CSKA Moscow's Ettore Messina, an Italian native who was a consultant for the Lakers two years ago. Southern California native Steve Kerr, who has no agreement yet with the Knicks, may also be interested.
So bypassing that list to give the Bulls significant compensation for Thibodeau seems far-fetched. While Thibodeau hasn't always had a smooth relationship with basketball operations tandem Gar Forman and John Paxson, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is a supporter of Thibodeau.
There is recent precedent for such a move. The Los Angeles Clippers gave an unprotected 2015 first-round pick to Boston for coach Doc Rivers. That pick figures to be very late in the draft unless something else unexpected happens.
Some outlets already mentioned Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg as a candidate to coach the Bulls. He played for the Bulls from 1999-2003. That's a long way from being a real possibility.
UConn coach Ollie is another former Bull. He's also a Los Angeles native, which may keep his name attached to the Lakers' opening.