Chicago Bulls: Taj Gibson Still On Trade Block, Still Team Glue

Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson may continue to be the glue holding the team together, but that is not stopping him from still being at the center of trade rumors.

The Chicago Bulls have some major changes to make if they even want a chance at success moving forward.

Although the best thing for the organization would likely be revamping the front office and bringing in new coaching personnel, it is more realistic that the Bulls will instead tackle the roster itself.

Yes, they made a splash this past free agency by signing both Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, to come play alongside budding star Jimmy Butler, coupled with the trading away of Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks.

But there is still work to be done, work that may very well take place before the upcoming NBA trade deadline.

The question of course becomes what moves should Chicago be looking to make?

Up until a few days ago, many were banking on a deal between the Bulls and the Toronto Raptors.

However, that dream was killed when it was announced that the Raptors acquired Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic for Terrence Ross and a first-round pick in this year’s draft.

That does not mean power forward Taj Gibson is no longer available.

Of course, this has been the case for quite some time now. It seems like throughout the entirety of his career so far, the forward’s name has been consistently being brought up in regards to deals the Bulls could make.

“I’ve been hearing the chatter for years. But you never know. I just keep my head straight, focus on the team I’m on at the moment because if you start looking at other teams and other stuff, it kinda gets tricky as hell.”

But despite the rumors never amounting to anything before, it seems the 31-year-old may be taking things a little more seriously this time around.

“I can’t. I can’t (focus on it). It’s like how Melo’s (Carmelo Anthony) going through it right now. You just can’t. You just gotta focus on your teammates, your family, have good people around you. Been going through this for eight years, teams trying to get you. It’s tough, every year. You never know what’s going to happen. Stay professional, stay in the gym, do whatever you can to take your mind off it.”

Gibson is not letting the chatter get the best of his productivity though. Averaging 11.6 points and 6.9 rebounds a game, he is playing some of his best basketball yet.

And keeping up with his role of team peacemaker.

Chicago has certainly dealt with its fair share of complications over the past couple of years.

Between former head coach Tom Thibodeau disagreeing with both players and management, Rose and Joakim Noah forming an allegiance against Butler, Butler calling out head coach Fred Hoiberg for being too soft and the Three Alphas going at it … there has been no shortage of drama.

Drama is not what Gibson wanted and he continues to not want any part of.

Instead, the level-headed seven-year man out of the University of Southern California just keeps it real.

Recently, he revealed how emotional things got for him during a team meeting.

“I was drained because I gave my heart in that meeting. In general, I just gave my heart. Letting everybody know I loved them. Just poured my heart out. It got testy.”

Testy, probably because Gibson has had enough.

“…Because I put with a lot. I’ve been putting up with a lot. It’s crazy, I can put up with a lot but I can’t put up with my teammates battling each other.”

Nor should he have to.

On the one hand, Gibson has only ever played for one team, undoubtedly making it hard to imagine being anywhere else. He also seemingly feels comfortable in the current system, finding an offensive stride this season.

However, with all that has gone on during the last several years, Gibson may welcome a new environment, a change of scenery.

Beyond being capable of putting up solid numbers on the floor, other teams would also certainly appreciate knowing how stable of a guy he is, off the court as well.

So will Gibson be a Bull for much longer?

Really, only time will tell.

Since the Ibaka trade, rumors involving Gibson have died down. However, in the past there has been word of the Boston Celtics being in communication with Chicago, as well as perhaps Gibson rejoining Thibodeau via the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Either way, it is time for fans to start better appreciating No. 22.

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