HoopsHype Taj Gibson rumors

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May 18, 2015 Updates
May 17, 2015 Updates

If the Bulls don't draft a foreign player to stash overseas or if they do re-sign Mike Dunleavy, avoiding the luxury tax will be difficult. This is why improvement from within, specifically from Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott and Tony Snell, will prove vital. Taj Gibson's name could be bandied about in trade speculation, as it seemingly always is thanks to his budget-friendly contract and dependable two-way production. But next season's success largely will depend on internal improvement and the considerable talents of Rose and Butler, whether or not coach Tom Thibodeau departs. Chicago Tribune

May 15, 2015 Updates

Trading one of Chicago’s four core frontcourt players for a wing would be the best way to unclutter the roster and open up at least the mini midlevel exception. All four guys deserve major minutes, and a team just doesn’t need four bigs who require that kind of time — especially when none of them can slide into the small-forward spot. Thibodeau tried that with Mirotic, but it’s a waste of his skill set, and he struggles at times to defend wing players — especially when teams put him in the pick-and-roll, as Cleveland did when Mirotic was guarding Iman Shumpert. Gibson is the likeliest trade candidate, though there is some intrigue around the league about Noah on an expiring contract. Executives are curious: Is Noah forever diminished, or can we rehabilitate him? But Noah is so central to Chicago’s culture that the Bulls may be reluctant to move him. He is their soul. Then again, people said that about Luol Deng, and when the Bulls found a killer trade, they didn’t hesitate. Grantland

"All I basically know is Thibs -- his philosophy, his style of coaching -- so, of course, I want him to stay," Gibson said. "Look at our record. Look at how players have grown over the years through all the ups and downs. You've got to give him a lot of pats on the back for that." CBSSports.com

The unusual part of the Thibodeau-Bulls power struggle is that he hasn’t lost the locker room at all, despite his notoriously hard-driving style. On the contrary, players overwhelmingly voiced their support for the coach in the locker room. “If it was up to me, he’d be back,” said Derrick Rose. Added Joakim Noah: “I think Thibs is a hard worker who always had us prepared.” Said Taj Gibson: “If you want to be coached and pushed, Thibs is the coach for you. If you don’t want to get better, this isn’t the team for you.” NBCSports.com

May 14, 2015 Updates

The NBA retroactively assessed a technical foul to Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova for his role in the altercation Tuesday that led to Taj Gibson's ejection with 10 minutes, 25 seconds left in Game 5. Gibson's flagrant-2 foul didn't get downgraded, which means he has three points for two flagrant fouls during the postseason. Another flagrant would trigger an automatic suspension — one game for a flagrant-1 and two for a flagrant-2. "Still don't understand it," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Gibson's ejection. "It was a nothing play." Chicago Tribune

Dellavedova made the Cavs as an undrafted rookie before last season after leaving Saint Mary's as the school's all-time scoring and assist leader. He fought his way into the Cavs rotation -- last season under coach Mike Brown and this season under coach David Blatt -- by playing solid defense and providing relentless effort. His tangle with Gibson was not his first. Wild guess alert. It probably won't be his last. "Physical, but never cheap," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said of Dellavedova. "He's been in some scraps before. He's gotten under some skin, but I never saw him do anything cheap. "The leadership, basketball IQ and toughness are things he brought every single day for us for four years. He just wants to win. That's all he ever cared about. And he's very loyal. I know it's a different team than his first year but he's grateful the Cavs gave him an opportunity. Him knowing he's appreciated by LeBron and those guys, that's just going to drive him (further) to do whatever he can to help them win." FoxSports.com

May 13, 2015 Updates

Taj Gibson wanted to make one thing clear after the Game 5 loss by the Chicago Bulls against the Cleveland Cavaliers -- he did not kick Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova. "It was not a dirty play at all," Gibson said. "He just leg locked me, and I was trying to get my foot out there. He was pretty strong for a little guy." Cleveland Plain Dealer

"I gave him a look like, 'What are you doing? This is basketball,'" Gibson said. "This [isn't] wrestling, but it got chippy. Both teams kind of swarmed the situation and made it bigger than what it was, but nobody threw any punches. I'm just sad that I couldn't finish the game and help my team." ESPN.com

The Gibson-Dellevedova incident led to the two teams pushing and shoving, and that was a talking point after the 106-101 Cleveland victory. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau called it "bizarre," while Cavaliers coach David Blatt wanted to choose his words carefully afterwards. "Melee doesn't seem to be the appropriate word," Blatt said. "Can you think of a different word, and I'll answer the question?" When it was referred to it as an altercation, Blatt said, "I didn't think anything of it. No comment." His response was met with a laugh. Cleveland Plain Dealer

May 12, 2015 Updates

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