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Celtics' Defensive Guru Tom Thibodeau Reportedly Frontrunner For Hornets' Job

Tom Thibodeau, the Boston Celtics assistant coach and defensive genius for the past three seasons, is reportedly the number one choice for the Hornets' head coaching vacancy.

Citing "sources," Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that New Orleans is putting together an offer and could present it to Thibodeau "in the near future."

Sources say it's been an excruciating process because general manager Jeff Bower and president Hugh Weber have also been impressed with their other finalist, Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams. Sources say Hornets point guard Chris Paul(notes) has also been an advocate for the Portland assistant coach.

Nevertheless, the Celtics' success in the postseason has again crystallized Thibodeau's strength as a defensive coach.

The report says that the Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Nets GM Rod Thorn have also shown interest in the man credited for much of the Celtics' recent success.

This is hardly the first time that Thibodeau's name has been mentioned for head coaching positions. He has interviewed before with the Sixers, Pistons and Kings, and during the 2008 Playoffs, he was rumored to be a candidate for both the Knicks and Bulls jobs.

It is unknown if Thibodeau would even take the job now if the Hornets offered it to him, though. He may still want to wait until after the postseason for his opportunity to talk with Chicago.

Thibodeau has been an assistant in the NBA since 1989, coaching for the Timberwolves, Sonics (as an advance scout), Spurs, Sixers, Knicks and Rockets before joining Boston prior to the 2007-08 season.

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