The Chicago Bulls have fired Paul Westhead and now they'll be paying, along with a new coach's salary, two ex-coaches not to coach.

General Manager Rod Thorn (who fired Jerry Sloan in February 1982, and Sloan's contract runs through 1983-84) says now he "can guarantee you one thing: whoever we do sign will be the last coach I will hire."

Westhead, three years removed from NBA acme with a championship L.A. Lakers team, is gone one year into a four-year Chicago pact ($175,000 guaranteed for year two, then Bulls' obligation ends). Turmoil ruled virtually from day one, with controversial draftee Quintin Dailey, philosophical differences with defense-minded Thorn and player complaints of a communication gap.

Speculation on who will try to steer the Bulls back from a 28-54 NBA season begins with Atlanta Hawks Coach Kevin Loughery, a close friend of Thorn. For now, Thorn says, "We can't talk to Kevin because he's under contract and I don't know how much he has left on that contract."

Thorn waited to dismiss Westhead--away on a 20th wedding anniversary trip-- because, "It was a big possibility I'd leave and if I wasn't coming back, I wasn't going to be the one to fire him" . . .

Clyde Drexler and Akeem Abdul Olajuwon of Houston's NCAA runner-up team scheduled a campus news conference for Thursday to say if they'll turn pro--then hedged that maybe they won't know by then. Saturday midnight is the deadline to renounce college eligibility in favor of 1983 NBA draft. Now here's Drexler, a junior, saying Olajuwon, the 7-foot sophomore from Nigeria, ought to stay in school another year--"He needs the maturity, I think . . . He's been in this country almost three years. I've been here 20 years. He's a nice person. Sometimes people can take advantage of you when you are a nice person . . .

Published reports in Houston early today said Olajuwon would remain in college for at least another year . . ."

Two who are ready to play basketball for Howard: Coach A.B. Williamson welcomes up-front help in 6-6 Rockey Gholson (15 points, nine rebounds; all-region) from Petersburg (Va.) High of Moses Malone renown and back-court savvy in Mike Jones (19.3 ppg) of Paint Branch, 6-2 son of standout pro guard Jimmy Jones, the ex-Bullet.