The Chicago Bulls appear to be headed for a complete rebuild heading into next season. They’ve already traded former league MVP Derrick Rose to the Knicks, Pau Gasol reportedly wants out, resigning Joakim Noah isn’t appearing likely, and the team reportedly even tried to trade Jimmy Butler on draft night, although the front office has denied it.
Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times ran a piece on Sunday that mostly talked about Noah and his inevitable breakup with the Bulls, but he also mentioned another Bulls big man that may soon be gone from Chicago: Taj Gibson.
To add some further clouds to the Bulls frontcourt rotation, a league source said that the Bulls have been talking to several teams about the possibility of moving Taj Gibson. The power forward is in the final year of his contract, scheduled to make $8.9 million.
Gibson’s numbers were a bit down last season, but he has proven that he can be an effective frontcourt player on both ends either in a starting role or coming off the bench. It’s unclear what the market for Gibson would be, especially with only one more year on his contract, but if the Bulls really do want to blow the whole thing up, it’s certainly possible they could be shopping him for young players/draft picks.
Butler, Rose, Gasol, and Gibson were the four Bulls who averaged the most minutes per game last season, and it’s entirely possible the Bulls could go into next season without any of them. The departures would allow for more opportunities for young players like Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott, Denzel Valentine, and Bobby Portis, but just two years removed from pushing the Cavaliers in the playoffs, I’m not sure Bulls fans are particularly thrilled about the idea of being a bottom-dweller in the Eastern Conference next season.
(Via The Chicago Sun-Times)