Taj Gibson loves the Bulls, Rose ahead of schedule

Nick Friedell caught up with Taj Gibson who dropped a couple interesting notes for Bulls fans. The first is that he's overly enthusiastic about remaining in Chicago, and the second is that Derrick's physical therapy is ahead of schedule so far.

Taj quotes on extension:

"Really, it doesn't matter (when it happens)," Gibson told ESPNChicago.com Thursday afternoon. "I told (general manager) Gar (Forman) and (vice president John Paxson) how committed I am to just being with the Bulls. It's not a thought in my head to leave Chicago because I love playing for the Bulls.

"I love wearing the Bulls logo across my chest. So that's the last thing I'm thinking about right now. Right now, I'm just thinking about next year. Just come in and figure out how I can try to help the team better and just let the chips fall in place. A lot of guys tend to worry about that stuff, but I know I have a good agent in Mark Bartelstein and I have a lot of faith in what he does and I know I have a lot of faith in the Bulls organization so I'm just relaxing and practicing.

"I believe my future is here. Either mid-July or next year (for an extension), just have to be patient and just wait and see."

I notice that every player is always really optimistic prior to actually getting into the negotiation process. Once the process begins, things tend to get a lot more pessimistic. I suppose that goes with the territory as both sides typically start fairly far apart in an attempt to meet in the middle.

What is Taj Gibson worth on an extension? If I'm Chicago, I try and lock him up at a five year MLE deal (or maybe a bit above). I think its probably about as much as he can expect to get in the FA market, but he'd get the extra year if he stays here. However, I could easily see Taj thinking that he's worth 10 million a season and scoffing at such an offer.

Do you pay Taj seven million? eight million? I don't think either side gets an extension done this season because they both have the ability to wait another year, and Taj will be restricted next summer.

Taj also noted that his ankle still isn't healed:

"I'm still rehabbing," Gibson said. "The ankle injury on my right (ankle) was pretty good. I turned it pretty good. I'm still taking it one day at a time. I'm still trying to rehab, rest my legs, because I'm off to another serious training camp at the beginning of July so I'm just taking it one day at a time."

The fact that Taj is still rehabbing his ankle shows just how serious it was and how much of a workhorse that he is that he continued to play through it at a such a high level. When we look back at how many injuries the Bulls were dealing with last year in the playoffs its fairly incredible.

C.J. Watson had a surgical procedure on his feet done after the season. Korver was still in a walking boot a month after the season, and Gibson's ankle still hasn't recovered. This on top of Rose/Noah who were simply out with injuries to severe to play through. The Bulls couldn't catch a break healthwise beyond even the guys we know who were bad.

Taj quotes on Rose:

"I've been rehabbing the same time he rehabs. It's been going great from what I see," Gibson said. "He's pushing his leg to the limit. He's getting stronger. (The trainers) said he's ahead of schedule already and I think he's going to come back better and stronger than he ever was ...

"He seems great. I talk to him (about the) same stuff, laugh, giggle, we joke a lot in there. But at the same time it's business, because he's working on getting his leg back to (full) strength. But he's the same old Derrick, not a step behind."

Obviously its great that Rose is in the gym working hard and that the trainers say he's "ahead of schedule". Who knows what that really means at this point? The earliest recovery time period for an ACL to get back on the court is probably around six months.

If things went absolutely perfectly with Rose, and he hit a six month target, then he'd be back near the start of the regular season. I'd be very wary of pushing him that hard. The NBA season is a grind, and even if the ACL is healed, you can't really build up strength in the muscle while playing an NBA season. You are wearing it down and wearing it down hard.

If the Bulls do bring him back that early, they really need to make sure his legs are testing out strong enough and do some biomechanical tests to ensure he's not over compensating on either side of the body.

Either way, it's a minor note, and players tend to be overly optimistic about such things so who knows how much we can really take from it, but it's certainly better than a 'no comment', 'things are on schedule', or 'it will take time' etc..

Filed under: Players

Tags: chicago bulls, nba, Taj Gibson


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  • I love Taj! Really the only players I care about are Rose, Taj, Noah, Deng, Butler, Mirotic.

    I'm pretty sure they'll look completely the same next season but with Kirk Hinrich here. I think Brewer can be replaced by Butler and Watson by Hinrich.

    I guess I'd like to see Korver back just because their offense in the playoffs needs outside threats around Rose.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    If they think this team is still a title contender when Rose comes back, despite not having a 2nd shot creator, probably the most realistic options are:

    Andre Miller
    Kirk Hinrich
    Chauncey Billups

    Whoever takes the lesser deal first will be our PG.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Why is everybody so sure that Hinrich is going to make any less than Watson does. The mini MLE is 3 years @ 9 million, I could see Hinrich getting that from a contender looking for a second point.

  • I like the idea of trading Watson and Brewer for a sign-and-traded Hinrich and the right to swap picks. Pay the Captain big money next year, followed by a few years at the vet min. This gives the team more flexibility to improve in the future, when they start closing in on the luxury tax. It also eliminates the possibility of him being given away to clear cap room, which he didn't take well. He accepted a declining contract once to help out the team; why not again? Everyone seems to be counting on a hometown discount, but if he can get double elsewhere he won't be coming back even if he wants to. Front load the contract, pay him big the season he starts, and keep him around on the cheap as long as possible when he becomes a luxury (when Rose returns).

  • In reply to Gringo Rican:

    Why Kirk probably won't give the Bulls a hometown discount?

    You answered your question...because they shipped him out for cap space to chase Lebron, Bosh, and Wade.

  • What is the status of Rose's big toe that he supposedly couldn't move?

  • I'm taking all Rose news with a grain of salt, whether it's good or bad, unless there's an infection. At that point, I'll freak out. I've said from jump that he'd be back between January and March and that's what I'll stick with unless he steps on the court outside that timeframe

    Taj was the Bulls' best player after Jo and Rose went down and I'd like for him to stick around, but only at the right price. His age has to factor into any decision.

  • Sorry Taj, But Making Your Bed With Reinsdorf.. Means You Might Be Out On The Street

    The question of resinging Taj, as well as Omer and other Bulls players, is directly tied to the amnesty question aka Boozer's albatross salary.

    Taj is a good rotation player who some feel could be a starter. I know the anti-Thibs(head coach only) contingent is out there including myself, and one reason is he hasn't overseen the maturation of Taj and Jo's post game, but it's regression. Personally, I think good coaches(and staffs) do foster proper player directions and confidence building while encouraging agression to grow their potential games.

    You can blame Taj and Jo, or say 'what post games?' But IMO both showed good instincts and abilities down low that have significantly eroded replaced by weak over reliance on jump shots whch neither is a pure talent. As with most bigs the jump shot is fueled by energy and confidence from the inside game on the block.

    Thibs defensive genius is very valuable, but an offensive assistant head coach similar to what he was with Doc Rivers, is IMO the only answer. And I'm not even sure that would work because the head coach always makes offensive decisions in game and fosters offensive development and direction of players.

    Of course the Bulls in Gar and Pax will do nothing except wait, and then if the Bulls don't look like they are taking the next step, very possibly offer him way less money then the market so that he will choose to go elsewhere. That'd be my guess.

    Say you support Thibs, putting that question aside, unless Boozer is amnestied, the looming luxury tax will force tough chioces. One of Taj or Omer may have to go. Deng or even possibly Noah could be jettisoned taking back a bad contract for a late to mid lotto draft pick.

    To that end, the amnesty question continues to trouble me. Doug says when another team under the cap bids on Boozer, that will cut the Bulls payments to the remaining balance. So does that mean whoever bids and lands Boozer must sign him through the length of his curret agreement with the Bulls or 2015?

    Either way one of two things must be true. Any team bidding will be tied to Boozer for three years or the Bulls might get hit with the full amount on the last year of his contract. I suspect the former is true and whoever signs Boozer will be taking on the entire contract length through 2015.

    I'm just unsure how much money teams will be willing to throw at a regressing, aging, injury prone big like Booz. $5 to 6 MIl? Maybe less. Let's say it's $6(I know Doug and ohers will think he gets more) that's about $27 Mil left for the Bulls apparently stretched out over seven years that's what a little over $4 Mil a year. That's $4 Mil a year for one of the wealthiest franchises in the NBA to give the team some flexibility to restrucure, and re-arm for another shot at contending with what likely is still an All-Star player and a winner in Derrick Rose.

    Bottom line: if this is true, that post amnesty we will probably only pay $4 Mil or maybe 5 a year to keep the Bulls from having to dump talent i.e salary and field a bunch of borderline D-Leaguers after all the profits Jerry Reinsdorf has made off of Bulls fans for mostly mediorce to garbage teams the past decade, then he and his minions Gar Forman and John Paxson, can kiss my ass. There's no way in hell I'll watch a gutted Bulls team knowing it's all over a measley $4 to 6 Mil a year while they are waiting to make profits off of suckers aka "loyal" Bulls fans.

    If they do jettison let's say Deng's contract for Toronto's No. 8(which Iggy might make obsolete), and get back a somewhat bad contract in Amir Johnson for $ 6 Mil and a net gain of $9 Mil and Jeremy Lamb I'll take that. Plus we might be able to unload a contract like that for a decent 9ppg .500 shooter anyway for a future second rounder etc.

    But if it's Noah for the No. 10 I'm not sure I'm down with that. There's a lot of talent in this draft. Joakim is still a very valuable piece and a winner. Why should we have to give him up? So again Bulls aka Jerry R., just amnesty Boozer, and pay the f-ing $4-5 Mil a year you cheap bastards. Which, we know they won't. It sucks being a Bulls fan for a market this size and run like a small market team. Did I mention f-ck you Jerry Reinsdorf. For you, White Sox = passion. Bulls = spent condom.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Deng's contract is definitely moveable for several picks in this lottery, which would solve the boozer amnesty vs exceeding the tax issue for this season. boozer has to go by next summer to reup Taj.

    Right now, we know that at a minimum, picks 2, 5, 7,8,10, 13, and 16 are in play. While Rudy Gay, Iggy and Granger might all be more desireable than Deng, some if not all of those guys might get swapped in major player moves. leaving plenty of lottery picks for the Bulls to swap Deng for.

    Deng will be back well before Christmas, maybe as early as Thankgiving, so while his injury is a concern, it is not a season long concern.

    There is no doubt that if the Bulls are ready to move Deng, he can and will be moved. Basically, if they are going to begin to restructure their salary structure it has to start with Deng and boozer. It doesn't have to start on draft day, but there will be opportunities to do so if the Bulls are ready.

    Speaking of the Bobcats #2 pick, what do you guys think of offering Deng and the return of the Bob's future #1. Who says no first to that.

    What about Deng and the Charlotte pick to Sacto for Evans and the 5th pick.

    In general, I have not been in favor of moving that pick unless it is part of a blockbuster trade(i.e. D Howard). It would probably be short sighted on the Bulls part, since non of the players in this draft are franchise changers.

  • Kings not expected to extend former ROY Evans!!!!
    Please Gar/Pax let's make a serious play for Evans and some of their other wing players (Garcia, Evans, Outlaw). Prob not getting Thornton. Might get Beno...O wait he is a Buck now if I remember right! LOL
    Please Bulls nab Evans! I don't know how the salaries work but I'd be happy with trading Asik for Evans and Garcia!
    Then move Cousins to PF where he belongs!

    I'd even trade super reliable Bulls glue Deng for Evans, Garcia, Salmons! The Kings have a big backlog at SG/SF and the Bulls desperatly need those positions. LOL Salmons would be with the Bulls twice, Kings twice, etc....he is so up and down but decent at least off the bench!

    With Rose and Deng being out next year the Bulls need a PG, SG, and SF. Evans can play all 3 positions and Garcia adds some good depth off the bench!

  • In reply to smiley:

    Evans isn't a great combo with Rose. He can't stretch the floor and isn't an elite scorer. Not to mention his stats have regressed every year since winning ROY.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Even though I think SAC has been more willing to move Evans, I still think they want back good assets for him. They're not dumping him for mediocrity.

    With that said, I like Evans' potential. I would love to pair him next to Rose. I know a lot of people want a 'shooter' to play SG next to Rose, but I'm on the other side of the spectrum. I want a ball handling scorer playing the 2 with Rose.

    But with all honesty, I don't think Deng is enough to get Evans, even if it meant taking on Garcia and Salmons' contracts. I proposed this similar deal before, but I threw in Asik and took back Hayes (I have Asik > Hayes).

  • In reply to smiley:

    As I mentioned below, what about Deng and the Charlotte pick for Evans and Sacto's 5th pick. We really cannot afford to give up Asik, we instantly become a midget team, as Noah, Taj and boozer are all undersized for their positions.

  • Didn't Evans and Rose play together at Memphis or did they miss each other, Rose going out, Evans coming in? Cool that both guards came out of Memphis and run ROY awards! :-)
    I'd be happy with Evans and Rose as our guards...not as happy as other players who are better shooters, but probably just a change of scenery with a real team that can go all the way and a big market in Chicago will be what Evans needs to play at a high level again!

  • Here are some guys that got $8mil deals last year:

    Rodney Stuckey, Danilo Gallinari, Marcus Thornton, Thaddeus Young

    You don't think Taj has similar value (if not more) than those guys?

    Obviously if I'm the Bulls, I offer him a lesser deal and hopes he takes it, but I would be happy if it costs 5yrs and $40mil to retain him.

    If they let him get to Free Agency (even though he's a RFA), I think some team bids up the price. Lock him in as early as you can and hope it's cheap enough.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    All of the other guys are double digit scorers. Right or wrong, teams pay for PPG. Plus, Taj si the oldest of the five.

    FWIW, WS/48 says he's the second best of that group (behind Young), while PER says he's second from the bottom, only ahead of Gallo. You can make a case either way, and GarPax and his agent surely will.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Although I agree, I think Taj has more love around the league than we think.

    Taj is an elite defender, and CAN put up double digits points if he played starting minutes.

    In his rookie year, he played about 27min and he put up 9pts-7.5rbs. Nobody could argue he hasn't improved offensively.

    This is not a homer choice, but I just know Taj is valuable and if he reaches FA, his price can go higher than the Bulls want to pay.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Yep, people get paid for scoring, so while Taj might be more valuable to a team concept, he is not going to get paid as a free agent the way that those guys did.

    If we could lock Taj in at the full MLE, or slightly above without going into free agency I would do it.

    Taj, like Gordon and Deng before him, probably won't take an early deal in order to get the most money in free agency.

    Especially since this is his only shot at big money in his career as he will be 28 next June when his current contract expires. Hard to believe that he is that old already, Taj we hardly knew you.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    There are exceptions. Chandler got big money from the Knicks and he is not a scorer. You can go back to Wallace getting big bucks from the Bulls. Howard will get the max and he is more defense than offense. Ibaka will get a big deal when his time comes. I think people will get into a mini bidding war over him if he is available. He will probably get paid more than his actual value. Bulls need to wrap him up.

  • More talk of the Bulls trading up.

    Latest from K.C. is that the Bulls management talked to Harrison Barnes projected top 5-7. K.C. has mentioned more then once to look for the Bulls trading a core piece in a move for a high draft pick. The SF would supposedly replace the guy being traded who would likely be Luol.

    This would be great news except the Bulls are targeting the wrong guy. Harrison Barnes by the numbers is an ultra hyped high school player who doesn't measure up. Not an advanced ball handler who can't get to the basket. His rebound numbers for his size are unimpressive and steals etc. are very sub par. He'd supposedly be a young Luol Deng for a whole lot less money, but that is unrealistic IMO. Jeremy Lamb(is the guy) or Bradley Beal are the scoring guards the Bulls should be trading up for not Barnes. Big mistake if they take him IMO.

  • I like Barnes, but Lamb is the guy... Unless Beal somehow drops, which I doubt... If the Raptors are looking to add a wing.athlete, Deng makes sense... I think we could offer Deng + Hamilton +29th pick for Bargnani + Calderon + 8th pick... Makes sense for both teams, as it adds quality and depth to the Raptors in a position we need, as well as gets us good pieces as well... Then we draft Lamb and have a great young guard to pair with Derrick, a stretch 4, and solid point guard to stem the tide til Derrick gets back, then he becomes a solid backup... Then we could amnesty Boozer, as we won't really need to rely on his scoring with Bargs in the fold... Seems to make sense for both teams...

  • In reply to RC360:

    I love Deng, but that's not a bad trade at all. The only problem I see is that they seem to be so high on miritic that I don't know if they want someone like Bargnani at his position.

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