Report: Fred Hoiberg ‘top choice’ if Bulls part ways with Tom Thibodeau

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The Chicago Bulls were eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoffs on Thursday night, falling to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 94-73.

After months of reports, it’s likely that Tom Thibodeau will be out as head coach after five successful seasons. It won’t be an easy divorce, as the Bulls reportedly owe him $9 million over two years. But if and when the two sides split, Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg will be among the top candidates to fill the vacancy, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Hoiberg has been at Iowa State the past five seasons, going 115-56 with a Big 12 Tournament title in his stint at his alma mater. But he’s often been rumored for NBA head coaching positions given his experience as both a player and a front office executive.

With Georges Niang, Monte’ Morris, Naz Long Jameel McKay — and adding Deonte Burton midway through the year — the Cyclones are considered a top-5 team entering next season.

Hoiberg is less than a month removed from open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve.