Depending on what NBA trade rumors have come out, every Chicago Bulls‘ player can be had. The Bulls could even be receptive to trading Jimmy Butler for the right price. Although the latter is not expected to happen, look for the Chicago Bulls to make at least one trade of significance. Do not be surprised if the Bulls actually make a few deals before the NBA trade deadline scheduled for this afternoon. One of those trades could wind up being a surprise.
What is no secret is the buzz regarding the Chicago Bulls fielding calls for power forward Taj Gibson. Per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Chicago Bulls would rather deal Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, or Doug McDermott.
It is understood that if the Bulls can receive a first-round pick in the upcoming draft, they would attempt to send the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for center Jahlil Okafor. What actually happens on the trade market with the Bulls will reveal where the front office views the franchise. If the Bulls’ phone lines truly start buzzing, they could be putting together pieces for their future.
From the lot of Gibson, McDermott, and Mirotic there has been some confirmed interest (courtesy of SB Nation) in one of them. A Taj Gibson trade is developing some traction, with one of the potential suitors being the Oklahoma City Thunder.
ESPN’s Marc Stein took to Twitter to report that the Oklahoma City Thunder has had discussions regarding a Taj Gibson trade. It is a move that could help the Chicago Bulls acquire a young player.
The Thunder are frequently good for a Deadline Day surprise and league sources say Chicago's Taj Gibson has emerged as an OKC trade target.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
While the Thunder’s interest in the Bulls’ Taj Gibson comes as a surprise, but he is a logical fit.
The Thunder needs to flank point guard Russell Westbrook with shooters. They also need to add a tough guy willing to do the dirty work. That has been more evident with the absence of center Enes Kanter, who broke his forearm about a month ago.
Kanter added scoring and rebounding for Oklahoma City’s second unit. His scoring and rebounding averages of 14.4 and 6.7 are third on the team. And what cannot be dismissed is the fact that he played a major role in the Thunder winning basketball games. They have gone 5-5 since Kanter went down.
According to The Oklahoman, Enes Kanter has returned to practice, but there is no set date for his actual return. The Oklahoma City Thunder would have a need for a player such as Taj Gibson even when Enes Kanter returns to the lineup.
If the Chicago Bulls can get a first round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder they would be overjoyed to consummate a trade. Getting a first rounder for a quality starter at power forward is a reasonable thought. And if the Bulls were to deal Taj Gibson to the Thunder he would likely be inserted as a starter upon his arrival.
There is some truth to the NBA trade rumors regarding the Thunder’s interest in the Bulls Taj Gibson. The return will determine whether or not a deal gets made.
Chicago Bulls still wanting a 1st Rd Pick for Taj Gibson. (Source: Jeff Zillgitt) pic.twitter.com/YWu3C3dnGF
— Chicago Bulls Rumors (@chicagobullsbot) February 23, 2017
Instead of a first-round pick, the Chicago Bulls could ask for one of the Thunder’s young point guards Cameron Payne or Semaj Christon. If the plan is to flip the return for Jahlil Okafor or someone else, both Payne and Christon have enough talent and upside to use as a selling point. Chances are also good that the Bulls could get a draft pick and one of the point guards in a trade with the Thunder, as Taj Gibson will be sought after at some point.
This potential trade could grow into something bigger if the Bulls can sell Doug McDermott to the Thunder. Adding McDermott with Gibson gives the trade more layers, while serving as a cure-all for both teams. The Bulls would get a draft pick and a young player or two, while the Thunder adds some toughness and shooting.
The best case scenario for the Chicago Bulls is for other teams, primarily teams in the Western Conference to get involved in trade talks for Gibson. A minor bidding war could take place if that happens, leaving the Chicago Bulls to make the best trade possible.
Taj Gibson is one of the Chicago Bulls’ players that is expected to be traded, and a trade could happen within the next hour or two. Could Taj Gibson wind up with the Oklahoma City Thunder? The Chicago Bulls hope so. The Bulls also hope to ship Doug McDermott along with him.
[Featured Image by J Pat Carter/Getty Images]