The NBA trade deadline is less than a month away, but the Washington Wizards have already found themselves in plenty of trade rumors. Even though the Wizards have already traded their two best assets, Emeka Okafor’s large expiring contract and a top-12 protected first round pick in exchange for Marcin Gortat, they’ve put themselves in position to make the post-season for the first time in half a decade and will certainly try to improve their roster.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Bulls have received interest from a number of teams regarding Taj Gibson’s availability, one of them being the Wizards.
According to a source, the Lakers, Wizards and Bobcats have each inquired about Gibson, but they were preliminary talks in which the Bulls did not like the return.
Cowley adds that the Bulls weren’t interested in the “return”, which leads me to speculate the offer the Wizards could potentially give Chicago. Gibson is currently averaging over 12 points, 6 rebounds, and nearly 2 blocks per game for Chicago, and has been one of the more consistent players on the Bulls’ roster.
Gibson signed a contract extension with the Bulls in 2012 worth $38 million dollars for 4-years. If the Wizards do acquire Gibson, they’d be locked into his contract until at least the 2016-2017 season. They would ultimately lose some flexibility, but Gibson has played just 4-seasons in the NBA and has a lot left to offer.
If I had to guess, the Wizards would likely be sending back Trevor Ariza in some sort of packaged deal for Gibson. The Wizards were interested in Taj Gibson a few seasons ago, rumored to have offered a swap of Andray Blatche, but the Bulls were obviously not willing to take the deal. Ariza has been linked to trade rumors in the past, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s dealt for Gibson, especially since the deal would work financially for both teams.
I’d be surprised if anything gets done, but I’m glad the Wizards are trying to add some depth before the trade deadline. Gibson has been a serviceable big man and would fit right in with John Wall and Co. Gibson has been a decent mid-range jump shooter and the Wizards don’t really have a big man to run pick-and-pop plays with Wall, which would open up the floor for Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, and the rest of the wing players. Washington doesn’t have much front court depth and Gibson would certainly add to that.