Bulls asking for players and first-round picks in Gibson, Gasol trade talks


Bulls asking for players and first-round picks in Gibson, Gasol trade talks

With the trade deadline less than a day away, activity has picked up around the NBA as teams are looking to unload and reload with an eye to the playoffs or to the draft in June.

The Bulls have been lightly involved in trade talks involving Taj Gibson and more recently Pau Gasol, although a league source cautioned that the Bulls aren’t “shopping” Gasol, but that they’re open to trading him.

Gasol will opt-out of his contract this offseason to hit the free-agent market one last time for a long-term contract that will likely carry him into retirement.

As for Gibson, the Bulls have reportedly been asking for players and a first-round pick, which was confirmed by a couple front office executives around the league.

However, a source said of Gibson, “he’s not going anywhere."

Gibson discussed the trade rumors at Wednesday's practice.

“It could be worse. People could not be saying your name at all,” he said. “But it comes with it when the team is underachieving, you gotta kind of shake up things. I see what’s out there. But I’m no stranger [to this]. Since my rookie year I’ve been in trade rumors a lot, so it’s nothing new for me.”

[MORE: Nikola Mirotic on the mend as Bulls gear up for final stretch]

The Bulls’ motivation appears to be shifting from win-now to avoiding the luxury tax and punitive repeater tax, as they were last in the luxury tax in 2012-13, being nearly $4 million over.

With their current salary around $88.5 million, it places them a little more than $4 million over the luxury tax apron of $84.7 million, which was set in the offseason. The Bulls once had champagne dreams in the offseason and even into the season, but the recent tailspin has perhaps changed things and could not be as willing to be in the luxury tax for a team that could tumble out of the playoffs.

For now, though, it’s been all talk. For now.

Teams have been reluctant to give up valuable, cost-controlled first-round picks as the cap is scheduled to rise exponentially this summer. 

“That’s a great question, this time of year, I know those guys are up there making their calls,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We’ll see what happens. First two trades happened yesterday, has anything else happened today? We’ll see what happens, how things progress over the next 24 hours.”

Hoiberg spent time in the Minnesota Timberwolves' front office before going to coach at Iowa State, paving the way to take over in Chicago last summer. Clearly he knows how these conversations work.

“People just lie to each other up until those last 48 hours and then conversations finally become serious,” he said.

[SPORTSTALK LIVE: Can the banged-up Bulls turn things around?]

In other words, a team could get desperate or the Bulls could lower their asking price for Gasol or Gibson. There appears to be a large gap between the best teams in the NBA and the ones striving for elite status, so the thought of a two-month rental for Gasol could be worth it for some teams.

“An offer could be made and things could be shaken up. It’s a part of the business,” Gibson said. “It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or don’t appreciate you. It’s just that it’s a business. I totally understand it.”

But never discount the Bulls’ thinking that when they get healthy, they could make a run in the Eastern Conference, fearing no team this side of Cleveland. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen.

“We had stretches when we won games and everyone was completely healthy,” Gibson said. “And it’s tough. You gotta understand. We got a new coach. We have the same players, but new little young guys. We still gotta work through it. Every team goes through this.”

Coby White leads the way, receives votes in 5 categories of annual NBA Rookie Survey


Coby White leads the way, receives votes in 5 categories of annual NBA Rookie Survey

The NBA's annual Rookie Survey was released on Monday, and there's a whole lot of Coby White love sprinkled throughout it. As John Schuhmann pointed out in his write-up, White and Celtics point guard Carsen Edwards tied for the lead by receiving votes in a survey-high five different categories.

Here's what rookies think of White's game.

Who will be the 2019-20 Kia Rookie of the Year?

1. Zion Williamson, Pelicans (35%)
2. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (27%)
3. R.J. Barrett, Knicks/Cam Reddish, Hawks (5% each)

Also receiving votes: Coby White, Bulls; 9 others

Thoughts: One aspect White has working in his favor is his position: Beginning with Kyrie Irving in 2012, six of the last eight Rookies of the Year have been point guards. Realistically, White's path to Rookie of the Year consideration is bumpy. The Bulls gave Tomas Satoransky $30 million to eat up a bulk of the point-guard minutes, and Kris Dunn is still on the roster battling for minutes with White. The rook's best path to RoY consideration would be carving out a Sixth Man role, similar to what Ben Gordon did in 2004.

Which rookie will have the best career?

1. Cam Reddish, Hawks (19%)
2. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (16%)
3. De'Andre Hunter, Hawks (11%)
4. Coby White, Bulls (5%)
4. Zion Williamson, Pelicans (5%)
4. Jaxson Hayes, Pelicans (5%)
4. R.J. Barrett, Knicks (5%)

Others receiving votes: 12 others

Thoughts: OK then. White received the same number of votes in this category as Zion Williamson, who has superstar written all over him. This one is basically impossible to predict, but it's feasible that White could wind up being the best player from his class. He was the 7th overall pick, after all. Also, remember that Wendell Carter Jr. received the most votes in this category a year ago. The Bulls are well represented.

Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was drafted?

1. Bol Bol, Nuggets (19%)
1. Kevin Porter, Cavs (19%)
3. Coby White, Bulls (5%)
3. Nassir Litte/Isaiah Roby/Grant Williams/Carsen Edwards (5%)

Others receiving votes: 12 others

Thoughts: It was interesting to see White's name on this list. It's tough to make an argument that White should have gone in front of any of the six players taken before him in June. If anything, the Bulls' other rookie is feeling like a steal where he was drafted. Daniel Gafford had a mighty impressive Summer League as the No. 41 overall pick. Fun fact: The only Bulls rookie to ever top this category was Erik Murphy in 2013. That didn't work out so well.

Which rookie is the best defender?

1. Matisse Thybulle, Sixers (37%)
2. De'Andre Hunter, Hawks (29%)
3. Brandon Clarke/Jaxson Hayes/Nassir Litte (8%)

Others receiving votes: Coby White, Bulls; 3 others

Thoughts: Another interesting inclusion for White, who certainly has the speed and size to be a plus defender. His wing span isn't anything to write home about but White should be able to keep up with the league average defense at the position. In such a guard-heavy league, simply keeping your counterpart to his season average is usually a plus. White should, at the very least, be able to do just that.

Which rookie is the best playmaker?

1. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (40%)
2. Darius Garland, Cavs (15%)
3. Coby White, Bulls (10%)
3. Ty Jerome, Cavs (10%)
5. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Pelicans (8%)

Others receiving votes: 4 others

Thoughts: Point guards dominated this category, and for good reason. White isn't a natural point guard but he's a blur in transition and looked pretty comfortable in Summer League working pick-and-roll action. The Bulls' rookie is going to have more than a handful of "wow" moments as a playmaker, so he's deserving of this spot on the list.

'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10


'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10

On Friday ESPN revealed that the next film in their award-winning 30 for 30 series will focus on the life of former Bull and Hall of Fame forward Dennis Rodman. 

The film—which is titled "Rodman: For Better or Worse" will detail Rodman's journey to becoming a Hall of Famer and five-time NBA Champion. The documentary will detail Rodman's difficult upbringing in Dallas, his dominant run at Southeastern Oklahoma State and his development into one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history. 

While Rodman is no doubt one of the greatest talents in NBA history, he is just as famous for his intriguing and oftentimes shocking off the court exploits. Rodman: For Better or Worse will discuss Rodman diving into international diplomacy issues and all of the deeper reasons behind him becoming the interesting character that we know him as today. 

The documentary will feature interviews from former teammates and coaches of Rodman's, including Bill Laimbeer,  John Salley, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, and Phil Jackson. 

Rodman: For Better or Worse will be directed by Todd Kapostasy. 

Kapostasy is a seven-time Emmy Award winner. He wrote and directed 2016 documentary 'Confessions of a Cubs Fan: A Century of Waiting', which focused on the idea that winning isn't everything in sports amid the backdrop of the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series.

“Rodman: For Better or Worse” released on September 10, at 8 p.m. CT

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