(CBS) Despite spending his entire professional career with one organization, Bulls power forward Taj Gibson is no stranger to trade rumors. It’s nothing short of an annual tradition for his name to be included in the myriad trade talks leading up to the deadline.
It’s no different this time around, with multiple reports emerging that the struggling Bulls are taking calls on Gibson, if not actively shopping him themselves, as Thursday’s 2 p.m. deadline looms. To this, Gibson is approaching the situation with professionalism and an understanding of the business aspect.
“It could be worse,” Gibson said, “having people not talk about your name at all. But it comes with it when your team’s underachieving — you got to kind of shake up things, see what’s out there. But I’m no stranger. Since my rookie year, I’ve been in trade rumors a lot. It’s nothing new to me.”
Gibson talks with executives John Paxson and Gar Forman “every other day,” he said, and hasn’t gotten the impression he’ll be dealt this season. Gibson’s a glue guy who brings quality defense, rebounding and toughness to the Bulls, and he has value in that he’s under a team-friendly contract through the end of the 2016-’17 season.
“I never get that feeling, but you never know,” Gibson said. “An offer could be made, and things could be shaken up. It’s a part of the business. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or don’t appreciate you. It’s a business. I totally understand it. But I’ve been in them my whole career.”
The Bulls and Raptors discussed a framework of a Gibson-Patrick Patterson deal recently, ESPN.com reported, but that didn’t come to fruition. Chicago is also open to moving big man Pau Gasol, an All-Star who has said he intends to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Gibson’s averaging 8.0 points and 7.2 rebounds this season in 52 games, including 34 starts.