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.”
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.
- Report: LaMarcus Aldridge rules out Lakers in free agent decision 32
- Reports: Phoenix Suns sign Tyson Chandler, re-sign Brandon Knight, try to reshape roster 6
- Kevin Love will return to Cavaliers, contract is reportedly $110 million over five years 65
- Report: Spurs reach deal to trade Tiago Splitter to Hawks, create cap space for LaMarcus Aldridge offer 26
- Report: Heat, Goran Dragic agree to five-year deal worth $90 million 43
- Report: Paul Millsap had midnight meeting with Orlando, will decide between Magic and Hawks 17
- Report: Blazers, Damian Lillard nearing agreement on five-year max contract extension worth $120 million 17
- Report: Kawhi Leonard, Spurs reach deal for five-year, $90 million contract extension 19