With the trade deadline two weeks away, add another intriguing name to the list of players who have reportedly been made available: Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson. From The Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:
Gibson’s name has been connected to much of the league over the last few months, from Los Angeles to Toronto to Phoenix to Detroit to Portland.
In recent weeks, he has not played with the type of energy for which he has been known, and there has been speculation that he is frustrated with the addition of Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol (though his playing time has not changed much). Gibson still has two years and $17.4 million on his deal, which is a problem in moving him.
Gibson’s four-year, $38 million contract, which is up in 2017, is actually a very good value for a starting-caliber big man. Still, it’s unlikely that the Bulls actually move him before the deadline unless they’re absolutely blown away with an offer. The additions of Mirotic and Gasol have cut into his minutes, but neither of those players are the defender Gibson is, and with Joakim Noah still not all the way healthy, losing him is something the Bulls probably can’t afford to do.
If they were to trade Gibson, they’d need a wing in return, since that is by far their weakest position with Mike Dunleavy out. But the salaries are hard to match with any player on one of those teams that would be both available and of interest to the Bulls.