...The New Orleans Hornets quickly reached an agreement Friday night with Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams to be their next head coach after Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau withdrew from consideration earlier in the day, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com that Williams' deal will be made official no later than Saturday after Thibodeau, who was offered New Orleans' job last week, informed the Hornets that he plans to pursue opportunities with the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets.
One source close to Thibodeau, however, said Friday that the Bulls' opening is the job Thibodeau truly covets after he met with Chicago officials in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The Boston Herald reported on its website Friday night that Thibodeau is indeed the Bulls' choice to replace Vinny Del Negro, while the Chicago Tribune reported in Saturday's editions that a formal offer to Thibodeau "is expected shortly."
In New Orleans, Williams takes over after a 73-game interim stint by Hornets general manager Jeff Bower, during which New Orleans finished 34-39 after losing star guard Chris Paul to ankle and knee injuries.
At 38, Williams supplants Miami's Erik Spoelstra (39) as the league's youngest head coach.