Bulls reportedly willing to trade Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson for wing help
The Chicago Bulls are in both internal turmoil and desperate need of help on the wing. Franchise player Jimmy Butler has been disillusioned with his lack of support for a while now, and the team simply has not found a viable swingman running mate to play next to him. Mike Dunleavy is aging and currently injured, Doug McDermott is still developing and can’t stay in front of anyone on defense, Tony Snell has crashed into the third-year wall in catastrophic fashion, and Nikola Mirotic has not the speed, the handle, nor, lately, the shooting to log meaningful minutes at the 3. As such, desperate times may be calling for desperate measures.
According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports on the latest edition of his “The Vertical Podcast with Woj” Wednesday, the Bulls may be considering a trade of Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson in an attempt to acquire wing depth.
“Executives around the league, and people have told me, that the Bulls are very determined to add a talented wing player,” said Wojnarowksi per Blog a Bull. “I’ve been told that the Bulls are open to…whether it’s Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson…maybe not both of them, but either of them if there’s a deal out there that they can bring in the best possible wing player available, they’re open to it…They need more shooting.”
The Bulls have an excess of capable bodies in the frontcourt so it makes sense that they may be looking to correct their roster imbalance by shipping one of their bigs out to fill their need of a wing.
But Noah’s value couldn’t be lower right now. He’s on the wrong side of 30, is in clear decline, and just suffered a shoulder sprain that will keep him out of action for at least two weeks. But Noah is still a defining piece of the Bulls’ backbone and probably has more worth to them than to any other NBA team (not to mention that he has played his entire nine-year career so far in Chicago).
Gibson, meanwhile, is an interesting case. He’s a rim protector and interior defender that doesn’t kill you on the offensive end and can toggle between both big man positions. It may not yet be certain what the trade market for a player like Gibson will be in a league totally dominated by small-ball.
At the moment, these whispers might not be more than just that. But what’s clear is that the 15-11 Bulls, currently seventh in the Eastern Conference, aren’t currently performing to their talent level and may need a slight roster shakeup at some point before February’s trade deadline to get back on track. Whether Noah or Gibson becomes an unfortunate casualty of that reality remains to be seen.
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