NBA trade rumors for the Chicago Bulls indicate increased interest in Taj Gibson. The latest NBA trade rumors also reveal what the Bulls are asking for in exchange for the big man. A report from CSN Chicago states that the Bulls want a first-round pick and players in exchange for Taj Gibson. That’s the same package that the Bulls have been telling teams it would accept for Pau Gasol.
It’s telling that the Bulls are picking up the phone to listen to offers for Gibson and Gasol. It could speak to how the front office views the current roster and whether there is a feeling that the team should be improving for the 2016 NBA Playoffs or breaking things down for a rebuild. Regarding his name coming up in these NBA trade rumors, Taj Gibson spoke with the press during practice on Wednesday, February 17.
“It could be worse. People could not be saying your name at all. But it comes with it when the team is underachieving, you gotta kind of shake up things. I see what’s out there. But I’m no stranger [to this]. Since my rookie year I’ve been in trade rumors a lot, so it’s nothing new for me. An offer could be made and things could be shaken up. It’s a part of the business. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or don’t appreciate you. It’s just that it’s a business. I totally understand it.”
Pau Gasol has been linked to teams ranging from the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics to the Miami Heat. Now the Memphis Grizzlies are even coming up at the latest “hot” destination for the All-Star. This would allow him to play with his brother once again, provided Marc Gasol can return to the court. Gasol has one more season in his current deal, with a player option of about $7.8 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. Gasol is expected to opt out of that contract during the offseason, making himself a free agent able to sign with any team.
Taj Gibson makes $8.5 million this season and then $8.95 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. He can offer size in the low post to a new team, and has always been a good offensive rebounder. This season Gibson is averaging 8.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Pau Gasol is also having a good season, averaging 17 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. The duo is healthy heading into the second half, giving the Bulls a lot of size, presumably also causing the front office to think twice about trading them.
The Chicago Bulls have a 27-25 record and are seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The team has struggled recently, which may have resulted in many of the NBA trade rumors about Gasol, Gibson, and even Derrick Rose. The Bulls trail the Cleveland Cavaliers by 11 games in the Central Division and are just one game ahead of the ninth place Detroit Pistons. That puts the postseason at risk and requires the Bulls to go on a hot stretch in the second half as the 2016 NBA Playoffs approach.
While the Bulls continue to listen to trade offers for Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol, expecting a first-round pick for either guy is a lot to ask before the NBA trade deadline. There are certainly a lot of teams that could use the boost that Gibson and Gasol could provide, but giving up players and picks makes it a very expensive endeavor. The Boston Celtics seemingly have the assets to pull off a deal for Gasol, but even those NBA trade rumors state team president Danny Ainge isn’t just looking for a player rental.
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