The Chicago Bulls may look at a Taj Gibson trade this year to help a crowded front court after the strong play of Nikola Mirotic, as Joakim Noah is set to be a free agent and could get a new contract and this comes as Jimmy Butler has been invited to play for Team USA, while Donald Sloan and Kendrick Perkins are free agent options for the team this summer.
The Bulls have a new head coach in Fred Hoiberg and they should be one of the better teams in the east after making it to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Cavaliers. The Bulls lost that series despite the Cavs not having Kevin Love and now Chicago is looking to bounce back this year with another playoff run. The team signed Jimmy Butler to a max extension and if Derrick Rose can stay healthy, there is a good chance that the team will be back in the mix in the eastern conference.
The Bulls have moves they can make this summer and later in the year, as the Chicago Tribune reports that Gibson "could come up in trade talks" for the team. Gibson just underwent surgery on his ankle, so it's unlikely a deal happens in the summer, but at the deadline Gibson could be a major target. Gibson is in a similar situation that Carlos Boozer was in before the team amnestied his contract, as Gibson's role on the team may not be justified by his salary.
Gibson is making over $8 million in each of the next two seasons and with Butler signed to a max deal at $95 million for five years, the team may try and trim some payroll. Gibson has been solid for the Bulls when healthy, but after getting ankle surgery he may have a hard time finding minutes with Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis and Cameron Bairstow on the roster. Mirotic played well last season and the team has been happy with how Gasol has fit in and that leaves Gibson as an expensive bench option.
Joakim Noah is headed into the final year of his contract and the Bulls likely will want to keep him moving forward. The team may look at adding another center to play behind Noah, as he is currently the only true center on the roster. Players like Kendrick Perkins, Greg Stiemsma and Nazr Mohammed are on the market and Mohammed could be an option to return for the Bulls if they don't add anyone else. Noah has been one of the best defensive players in the league and the Bulls likely will try their best to keep him.
Jimmy Butler has reportedly been asked to participate in Team USA Basketball, as Marc Stein at ESPN reports that Butler is among a group of players that has received invites to camp. Butler joins Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Mike Conley as players that have received invites. The Bulls also may look at the free agent market for another backup point guard after adding back Aaron Brooks. According to RealGM, the Spurs, Bulls and Mavericks have shown interest in the guard.