Lakers, Wizards, Bobcats Ask About Taj Gibson

January 31 2014 at 3:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Lakers, Wizards and Bobcats all made preliminary inquiries about Taj Gibson┬árecently, but the Bulls weren’t satisfied with any of the proposals, reports Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Still, there’s a “growing possibility” the team will deal the power forward before the deadline, Cowley writes, and it’s a signal that the Bulls might be willing to try to clear cap room for a run at Carmelo Anthony.

Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said this week that he’s “not necessarily” going to engineer a pursuit of a star this summer, but he didn’t rule it out. Anthony reportedly sees Chicago as an intriguing free agent destination, but it would take some maneuvering for the Bulls to be able to sign him this summer. Chicago has $63MM in commitments for next season, almost equal to the projected amount of the salary cap for 2014/15. They could amnesty Carlos Boozer‘s $16.8MM salary to clear space, but they’d have to open more room to accommodate a maximum-salary contract for Anthony, which would have a starting salary of $22,458,402 for next season.

Gibson will make $8MM next season, the second year of a four-year extension he signed with the Bulls in the fall of 2012, so depending on how much salary the Bulls take in return, trading him could clear the way for Anthony. Gibson makes $7.55MM this season, and while he’s primarily been a bench player, he’s averaging career highs in minutes (28.6) and points per game (12.2). It’d be a little surprising if he wound up with the Lakers, who have mostly shied away from long-term commitments, but the Bobcats will reportedly be buyers at the deadline, so Gibson would make sense for Charlotte. The same is likely true of the Wizards, who began the season with playoff aspirations but hold only a three and a half game lead on the ninth-place Knicks in the Eastern Conference.

23 thoughts on “Lakers, Wizards, Bobcats Ask About Taj Gibson

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    1. They’re not trading him for future pieces, they’re trying to clear his salary. They’re looking for a team that’ll trade them expiring deals and future picks that wouldn’t occur in the next draft (as rookie salaries based on pick put a hold on your salary cap prior to the draft). If they’re signing Melo to a max deal (and every source indicates that’s their plan A), they’ll need to simply dump Gibson and amnesty Boozer. They can’t pay Melo and get Mirotic over without doing all of that.

        1. And then what? The Bulls have no cap room. You’re essentially the same team, but without Deng and Boozer.

          No. Just….no.

          1. Yes no deng, no boozer. And you’re saying no Taj, then what? They’re not giving Taj up unless they know for sure they’re signing Melo. Which means if they do they want future picks not just dumping him for nothing

            If they don’t make major moves, Taj is the starting PF next season.

          2. It’s either trade Taj for salary relief and hope to sign Melo, or keep taj and be a pretender for the next half decade. It’s a risk, but Taj Gibson is not going to be the guy that prevents the Bulls from taking a risk.

          3. I’m a bulls fan. But unfortunately the organization won’t pay luxury taxes, so we’ll be looking at pretenders for the next decade, I guess.

          4. I’m a Bulls fan too. They paid the luxury tax last year. They would have paid it this year but Rose got hurt so the plan changed.

            They won’t pay it next year to keep Gibson and bring over Mirotic. They would to bring Mirotic and sign Melo to play alongside Rose.

          5. They won’t pay it again. Guaranteed!!! Reinsdorf is too cheap. Boozer is gone regardless. Honestly, Melo isn’t leaving more money to come here for less money. And if they discuss a sign and trade your talking pretty much the entire roster goin to NY(noah, Gibson, butler, picks & mirotic). So no way!!

          6. Guaranteed on what? The Bulls have shown nothing but the willingness to spend when it makes sense. The moves they’ve made were expected. The long term plan was always to target this upcoming offseason to sign a second star to play alongside Rose. Moving Gibson for salary relief is part of that picture, one they’ve already assembled the rest of the pieces for.

            New York isn’t necessarily looking to re-up with Melo. They’ll only be able to sign one max player, and word is they’re more interesting in Kyrie Irving (and sources have said the feeling may be mutual). But even if it isn’t Melo, there’s a lot of max or near max players…better players than the Bulls have…that the Bulls are going to target this offseason. Plan 1 is Lebron (not likely), 1A is Melo (perhaps), and plan 2 is probably either Wade or Bosh.

          7. You are too funny!! And if they don’t land either player? They gave to out a decent team on the floor to attract fans.
            Wade has 2 years if that left, he’s broken down too much and wants a max deal. Lebron is not coming to Chicago. Bosh is not worth max money. Melo is a big risk but can be a big help if he comes I Chicago. Best bet we are looking at boozer amnestied with Taj at the PF position and mirotic a bull. That’s it!!!!

          8. So the Bulls should plan on not signing any of the players that would make them a championship contender in lieu of keeping a roster hardly capable of making the playoffs.

            I’m glad you’re not in charge.

          9. This isn’t nba live where you can make any trade or sign any player. They will try to sign but history has shown superstars don’t want to come to Chicago. Lebron, wade, bosh, Tracy, grant hill, Michael Finlay. Name 1 superstar the bulls have signed.

            It goes back to the organization mistreating Michael Jordan.

          10. Oh give me a break. Nobody is not signing with Chicago because of Michael Jordan. Derrick Rose didn’t care about what Michael Jordan said when he signed his max deal. Because the Bulls actually treat their players well.

            You have to put yourself in a position for the big win. The Bulls have already done it once. It’s what the Heat and the Knicks did to create their current rosters too. The answer isn’t not to try and to suck for ten years. That’s insane.

            It’s moot, anyway. It’s not like the Bulls aren’t 100% doing this. They traded Deng for nothing. They’ll amnesty Boozer for nothing, and they’ll trade Taj for nothing. Why? Because they’re not good enough and cost too much money. It’s better to strike out and be at the bottom for a year then never have a chance at the top. The Bulls know this, and they are absolutely following suit. You want to misrepresent that as being cheap, go ahead. But don’t be surprised when the bulk of people raise their eyebrow at your assessment.

          11. I’m one of a few that thinks they should’ve tanked this year. No guaranteed but at least try and get a high pick, this is supposed to be a deep draft.

            As a bulls fan, I’m disappointed with the 2 clowns they have running the organization. Until they show me instead of saying what everyone wants them to say, I’m not buying anything they say. When they were competing with a healthy rose they didn’t want to trade Asik for a much needed SG to make a valid run at the heat and where did that get them? Nowhere. And they lost Asik for nothing. I would’ve taken OJ mayo over any SG we had or have now.

          12. OJ Mayo is undersized for a two, and is pretty much a point guard when you consider he needs the ball in his hands every play. Not a good fit.

            You’re not going to find many people who agree that the people running the Bulls don’t know what they’re doing. They’re about as well run an organization, top to bottom, as you will find. If they’re run by clowns, every other front office is a freakin’ circus.

          13. OJ mayo is a PG???? Really? We are talking NBA, right? Not NCAA

            So if the front office is great tell me how they could’ve improved this team when they were at the top competing with the Heat? You never answered what prized free agent they’ve signed in the last 20 years. Don’t tell me Kirk hinrich or Carlos boozer. There’s more misses than there are hits. The drafting of Rose was a no brainer yet they almost missed that because they were considering Beasley. What about lamarcus Aldridge? Yep great front office, they are going to end up chasing thibs out of Chicago. Then what?

          14. He brings the ball down court and holds the ball longer than any other player on the floor. That’s essentially what a point guard does. He doesn’t have to line up at that position to fill that role. Which makes him the worst possible choice to fit next to a player like Rose, who very much needs the exact same thing to be effective.

            Bringing up the lack of marque signings in the last 20 years shows very little understanding of the way that the salary cap and escalating value contracts (the norm for the nba) prohibits teams from being players in the free agent market the bulk of their seasons. The only way a team can be a player for maximum deals is if they plan on it years in advance. The Bulls have tried twice. Most teams strike out. But most teams also know they have to try. It’s the ONLY way to compete. At least realistically.

          15. You are just arguing points with no facts. Explain how the bulls will work with the salary cap and sign marquee free agents? How much over the cap will they be willing to go? They fall in love with assets that they over value.

          16. LOL…okay buddy, I’m done. You’re claiming I’m just arguing points when your statement shows you have almost no understanding of how the salary cap works.

            I guess some people are just mad because they want to be mad. Good luck with that.

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