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Latest NBA coaching rumors: Thibodeau extension, Jeff Van Gundy could return, Ham, Redick

While NBA trade and free agency talk is heating up around the NBA, the rumors and reports about coaches have been and remain hot.

Here’s some of the latest news and notes, courtesy of Marc Stein and his must-read newsletter.

• Tom Thibodeau a “virtual certainty” to get an extension. This is entirely unsurprising, but Stein confirms what everyone knows and expects: The New York Knicks will work out a contract extension with Tom Thibodeau. Stein says this will be at the “market rate,” which for him is north of $10 million a season. Leon Rose and the Knicks front office built a roster of players that fit Thibodeau’s game plan and style, a roster that got the No. 2 seed in the East and to the second round of the playoffs (where injuries did them in). You don’t let that coach walk, you lock him down, and everyone knows it’s coming.

• Celtics to ask Jeff Van Gundy to join staff? After the NBA Finals ends, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla will have to replace the lead assistant on his staff because Charles Lee is moving down the Atlantic coast to Charlotte to take over the Hornets. Could that replacement be former NBA head coach and current Celtics consultant Jeff Van Gundy? From Stein:

“…curiosity is already circulating in coaching circles about Boston exploring the prospect of Van Gundy moving onto the bench as a day-to-day assistant to Joe Mazzulla.”

“Exploring the prospect” and getting Van Gundy on the bench next season are two very different things, it seems a long shot this would ultimately happen. However, never say never in the NBA.

• Budenholzer tried to get Darvin Ham on his Phoenix staff. Darvin Ham spent nine seasons as Mike Budenholzer’s assistant in Atlanta and Milwaukee. With Coach Bud assembling a new staff in Phoenix and Ham currently out of a job after the Lakers fired him, Budenholzer reached out to Ham to see if he would come to the Suns. After two long seasons in Los Angeles, Ham turned him down, Stein reports.

• Buzz only gets louder about J.J. Redick coaching the Lakers. Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office are taking their time with the search for a new coach and are interviewing multiple people for the job. However, a variety of league sources speaking to NBC Sports say the buzz that J.J. Redick will ultimately land the job is only growing louder. While LeBron James and his agent Rich Paul have said he’s not involved in the coaching search, the perception (at the very least) is Redick is who he wants, and LeBron can be a free agent this summer so there is leverage. Also, Anthony Davis (another Rich Paul/Klutch client) will have a say in the hire but appears good with Redick (Davis was not a big fan of Ham). Whether there is a consensus yet among the Lakers decision makers on Redick is up for debate, all signs point to the Lakers leaning toward the former player and current podcaster/broadcaster (Redick will be part of ABC’s team broadcasting the NBA Finals, so an announcement could be on hold until after the Finals ends).