taj gibson

Originally published in SLAM 178

When the Bulls let Omer Asik leave via free agency—partly due to one of those pesky “poison pill” provisions that would have eventually put them over the cap—rather than re-sign him in the summer of 2012, fans grumbled. He established himself as a valuable piece in the Bulls frontcourt, and losing him would potentially derail a Championship push. Little did they know this would be the least of their problems.

Since Asik left, the Bulls frontcourt has been just fine, with Joakim Noah establishing himself as one of the best centers in the League and Taj Gibson emerging as one of the L’s biggest bargains. Instead it’s the backcourt that’s been a problem. Former MVP Derrick Rose played just 10 games in the post-Asik era, and stopgap measures have included the  return of Kirk Hinrich. That’s not to say Omer isn’t missed, however. And with Carlos Boozer’s contract nearing its end (via amnesty or otherwise), the Bulls will be looking to bolster that frontcourt one way or another. Would they turn to another ex-Bull? As Taj demonstrated, Omer will always be welcome in the United Center.

Russ Bengtson