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Taj Gibson denies report he was told to prepare to be a starter next season

May 23, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

UPDATE 11:45 pm: Taj Gibson denied the original report when speaking on Chicago radio Friday night.

9:30 pm: Teams tell players things during exit interviews to motivate them, a little of the carrot and stick routine. “If you work on X then next season we can use you more, get you more minutes.”

However, what the Bulls told Taj Gibson is more than that — it speaks to them possibly using their amnesty on Carlos BoozerHere is the report, via the Chicago Sun Times.

While general manager Gar Forman has remained poker-faced about the future of Carlos Boozer in a Bulls uniform, several sources indicated that reserve power forward Taj Gibson was told by his coaching staff to start preparing this offseason to be a starter come tip-off 2014-15….

“I mean this will be exciting,’’ Gibson said in a phone interview. “This is what I’ve always thought about. When I started [those six games] for Boozer when he was hurt during the season, I just know how excited I was, how good it felt to come to the arena.’’

Gibson said he has recovered from the sprained ankle that slowed him in the playoffs and he is working out already for next season.

It has been suspected the Bulls would amnesty Carlos Boozer next season, taking his $16.8 million off their books (Boozer still gets paid his money, but he comes off the Bulls books, they don’t pay any tax on him and can use his money for other purposes).

The reason for that has been reportedly to chase big name power forward — Carmelo Anthony via free agency or Kevin Love via trade. The Bulls are in the mix for both but the odds of landing one are still fairly long.

If so, that could push Gibson back to the bench.

That said he wants to start and the Bulls are 5-1 when he did this past season. It might be time to just give him his shot in Chicago.

  1. sportsfan18 - May 23, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Hope he isn’t starting in Minnesota though…

    I want the Bulls to get Love, but to keep Taj…

    • calkinsrob - May 24, 2014 at 4:25 AM

      so do all bulls fans. but I think thats impossible. If we want melo or love, were gonna have to move Taj.

  2. watermelon1 - May 23, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Guess this means no Kevin love!

  3. prokilla - May 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Another Player for the LAKERs to pick…

    http://hoopshype.com/free_agency_2014.htm

    • billtetley53 - May 24, 2014 at 7:35 AM

      Oh no. This either another turd that thinks all caps for Lakers is a cool thing. Or kb, got sick of being ridiculed and changed his screen name again!
      It amounts to the same either way.

  4. themagicfanguy - May 23, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    It must suck being a Laker fan and knowing that nobody wants to play for your team anymore, totally irrelevant franchise.

    • jpstyles314 - May 24, 2014 at 1:54 AM

      Says the Magic fan. jk

    • ranfan12 - May 24, 2014 at 2:52 AM

      Happens. Can’t be worse than failing in the playoffs with number 1 picks lol. I think there’s a better chance of lakers acquiring enough decent talent to be less than a laughing stock than most teams however. They can’t possibly stoop the pre griffin/cp3 clippers era.

  5. ranfan12 - May 24, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    sources like to stir up the pot every chance they get

  6. billtetley53 - May 24, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    ranfan, they did that last year. They are going to stink forcat least 1/2 a decade.

    • asimonetti88 - May 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      They’ll need to stink for 50+ years to even it out. We’ve had a fair amount of winning around here. We won the championship 4 years ago. Can’t win it every year. If we have to lose a few games here and there to get back to where we were 4 years ago, so be it.

      • billtetley53 - May 24, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        Keep living in the past. Its what you do.

  7. rodge1 - May 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Don’t count the Lakers out, they’re going to be decent in 2019. By then Kobe will be retired and they’ll be on their 5th coach in as many years. Plus their lottery picks should be developed by then.

  8. earpaniac - May 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    He’s already a starter in everything but going out on the court first. I can’t remember who said it but, “It’s not important who starts the game, but who usually finishes it”

  9. jzone954 - May 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Because everybody is dying to play for the Orlando magic…

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