The Chicago Bulls have signed Jimmy Butler to a max free agent contract this offseason and moving forward the team could shop a Taj Gibson trade after the emergence of Nikola Mirotic and drafting Bobby Portis and this comes as players like Donald Sloan and Andre Miller could be backup options at point guard for Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks.
The Bulls had a main priority of keeping Butler this summer and his departure was never really an option in Chicago. Butler was a restricted free agent and now he is in on a max contract worth over $90 million. The Bulls also brought in Bobby Portis in the draft and that could eventually help push out forward Taj Gibson later this season. According to the Chicago Tribune, Gibson could "come up in trade talks" this year for the Bulls, as he may not have a role that justifies his salary with Noah, Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic on the roster.
The team liked the way Mirotic played last year and with Noah likely in line for a contract extension or a new deal in free agency, Gibson could be the one to go. Butler has put money on the cap this offseason and with Gibson making over $8 million in each of the next two seasons, it could be one area Chicago looks to trim down. Gibson may be in the same situation as Carlos Boozer was last year, as he is making too much money to justify his new role on the team. Noah is a free agent after this season and ESPN Chicago reports that all signs point to him staying with the team after this year.
A deal for Boozer likely would come during the season over during the summer, as Marc Spears at Yahoo reports Gibson underwent surgery on his ankle and could be out for "the next four months." Gibson's injury will give Portis and other players the chance to step up and once Gibson is back, he could be a trade target. Former NBA exec Bobby Marks writes that the Bulls have a need at backup point guard even after signing Brooks and the team also could use another center option.
According to RealGM, Sloan is being targeted by the Bulls, Spurs and Dallas Mavericks this summer. The Bulls basically have Noah and some undersized forwards that could play center and that could push the team to look for some reserve options. Nazr Mohammed could be in for a return, as he remains on the free agent market after playing with the Bulls. Mohammed said earlier this offseason that he plans on playing another season after playing in just 23 games with the Bulls.
Last season Mohammed averaged just 1.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in limited time with the Bulls and he likely will be in a reserve role if he signs anywhere. Kendrick Perkins is also on the market and he could be a potential option for the Bulls to play center behind Noah. According to Pro Basketball Talk, Perkins had some interest from the Clippers, but that was before the team signed back DeAndre Jordan. Perkins could be a cheap fit for the Bulls after averaging 3.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 68 games last season. Players like Greg Stiemsma, Greg Smith, Tyler Hansbrough, Ronny Turiaf and Jeff Withey are also available options.
Check here for more on the interest in Donald Sloan from the Bulls, more on interest in Kendrick Perkins, details on the Jimmy Butler and Aaron Brooks deals and for more on the Bulls offseason moves and the potential for trading Taj Gibson this summer.