Do the Chicago Bulls Need Taj Gibson?


The Chicago Bulls have a problem, and it’s a great problem to have: They simply have too much talent (or at least as far as big men go).

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The presumed starters will be Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, despite the issues playing together last year. Gasol has always been a pretty good shooter (with the Bulls, at least), so perhaps the combo could work.

Off the bench, the Bulls have enough big man talent to fill a roster. Nikola Mirotic has been given a chance to start during the preseason and has definitely improved over the summer. His handles and post game have drastically improved.

Taj Gibson has been a strong defender his entire career. His post game began to come along a couple years ago. There’s also the rookie Bobby Portis, who will definitely get some playing time, as he has been dominant in the preseason. In the four preseason games before Wednesday night, Portis averaged 12.5 points and a team-high 12.3 boards. Throw in Cameron Bairstow, who has been extremely active and may see some court time this year.

Obviously, this is a train wreck for Fred Hoiberg, as a mid-season trade may be in order for those who can’t get enough playing time.

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One intriguing possibility would be losing Gibson. He just returned from offseason ankle surgery on Wednesday, but the Bulls have looked fine without him. A trade would certainly clear up the frontcourt logjam for the Bulls, and also allow Mirotic and Portis more time off the bench. But, a trade like that would be risky.

Something to remember when facilitating a potential trade is that Gasol is 35 years old and Noah’s previous injury history. If one or both of them miss time during the year, it will be up to the three youngsters (Mirotic, Portis and Bairstow) to carry this team in the frontcourt; something I don’t believe they’re capable of doing yet.

Honestly, the Bulls with Gibson are too crowded. Without him, their bones are a little too bare. Gasol and Noah are on the older side to the point where they will be rested, and the Mirotic-Portis-Bairstow trio are inexperienced. Gibson bridges that gap nicely; the only Bulls big to do so.

But, this could all be different if the Bulls were able to field a significant trade offer for Gibson, which seems unlikely. Names like Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan (and even Carmelo Anthony again for some reason) have been rumored, but the Bulls aren’t really lacking a scoring wing with the recent emergence of Doug McDermott and E’Twaun Moore. The Bulls aren’t interested in picks or average role players either.

All in all, it’s doubtful the Chicago Bulls will trade Taj Gibson. At this point they need him, and who knows? He may end up playing a key role in the spring months.

Next: Bulls Preseason: Five takeaways from a poor loss to Detroit on Wednesday night

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