No formal Bulls contact for McHale

Updated: May 17, 2010, 4:14 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Kevin McHale said Monday that he's talked to Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman, but it was mostly about Fred Hoiberg recently taking the head coaching job at Iowa State and not about the team's vacant head coaching position.

McHale previously told ESPN Chicago that he would be interested in filling the Bulls' opening.

"I have not reached out to [the Bulls], and I have not talked to [vice president] John Paxson," McHale said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I did talk to Gar, but it was mostly because Freddy Hoiberg took the Iowa State job. Freddy's a good friend of both of ours. We were talking about Iowa State, but I haven't talked to Paxson, no."

With speculation raging that impending Cleveland Cavaliers free agent LeBron James may want to name his own coach, McHale believes the Bulls' coaching search may slow down until free agency opens on July 1.

"Paxson and Gar are going to beat the bushes to find the best coach for that team," said McHale, a TNT analyst. "If you can add LeBron James, you do everything you can to add him. They know that. I think the coaching search is probably going to be shut down a little bit."

Teams can't contact impending free agents on other teams or their representatives until July 1. But McHale, a former Minnesota Timberwolves GM and coach, knows there are ways to gauge interest.

"In today's game, it's so different because there are so many different people involved with these guys," McHale said. "You're going to have myriad guys who are involved with LeBron James who have no connection to the Cavs, don't have any connection to an agent, they're just out there. When guys say 'Team LeBron,' there are a ton of guys around there. Cleveland is going to be hypersensitive to anybody talking to [James'] representative. So that's what you can't do.

"But I'm sure through all the different back channels ... There are people who are going to be in the know, and if you want to know what he's thinking, there are probably 10 different guys you can call with no agency, no affiliation, no anything, who happen to know what's going on."

McHale also said the possibility of coaching James and Bulls All-Star point guard Derrick Rose would be appealing to any coaching candidate, and he also can see that appealing to James.

"Probably LeBron is looking toward Rose, thinking I play with a guy like that, it takes some pressure off LeBron. He doesn't have to do everything by himself, and it would be a great mix.

"If you're a coach, you have to look at that and say, 'Heck yeah.' I'm sure coach [John Calipari] is looking at that. He coached Derrick at Memphis, so there's some connection there. I'm sure there's a lot of that going on."

ESPN.com's Andy Katz reported Monday that the Bulls are not considering a James-Calipari package.

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