Ever since the Chicago Bulls traded small forward Luol Deng and point guard Marquis Teague, there has been a growing consensus that the Bulls will be pursuing a superstar this summer. That superstar being New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony could become a free agent this summer if he decides to opt out of his contract with the Knicks, if he does, many expect the Bulls to make a strong push for the superstar.
The problem when linking the Bulls to Anthony is that the team currently does not have enough money available to them in order to sign Anthony. There is no question that Anthony will command a max contract this summer if he were to hit the open market. Currently, the Bulls are projected to have enough salary cap available this summer to allow the team to sign a player to a mid-level contract.
According to a report from Joe Cowley in the Chicago Sun Times, interest in Bulls forward Taj Gibson is picking up around the league. A source in the report is cited in saying that the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, and Charlotte Bobcats have all had preliminary discussions about a potential trade. The Bulls did not come away from those discussions impressed.
Gibson still has three years remaining on his current contract with the Bulls. Gibson is set to earn $25.4 million over the course of those three remaining years.
Meaning if the Bulls were to trade Gibson before the February 20 trade deadline,the money saved from that trade; in addition to the money saved from the Teague and Deng trades; and the expectation that Carlos Boozer will be amnestied this summer would all combine to give the team enough money to be able to afford a max-contract.
Needless to say that if Gibson is traded, that would show that the Bulls have every intention of adding a second superstar to their roster this summer.
Gibson is averaging 12.5 points per game this season to go along with 6.5 rebounds per game. Gibson has widely been a fan-favorite, especially when in comparison to Boozer. Though, Bulls fans may welcome a trade if that would be a potential precursor to Anthony coming to Chicago.