The Chicago Bulls spent most of the offseason reshaping their bench unit, and after losing restricted free agent Omer Asik to the Houston Rockets there will be big pressure to keep Taj Gibson when he reaches restricted free agency in 2013. To recap the offseason for the Bulls, they lost Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, John Lucas, Brian Scalabrine (sort of) and C.J. Watson. Meanwhile, they added free agents Kirk Hinrich, Nazr Mohammed, Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and Vladimir Radmanovic. That series of moves has drawn mixed reviews.
Tom Ziller of SB Nation has been breaking down the top-50 free agents for the 2013 NBA offseason, and Gibson clocks in at No. 16:
The next restricted free agent for someone to pry from the mysteriously hard-capped Chicago Bulls. Actually, it's likely the Bulls passed on keeping Omer Asik in order to be able to extend Gibson without making sweet love to the steep bits of the luxury tax. Gibson fits really, really well with the Bulls as a defender and rebounder, though expect Carlos Boozer to be in heavy rotation while Derrick Rose is out, simply because Chicago will need the points. Gibson should land around $8 million per season in his next contract, whether it's in Chicago or elsewhere.
The Bulls drafted Gibson with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and soon enough they will have to pay some big money if they want the 27-year-old forward to stick around for the long term.
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