The Chicago Bulls are facing an offseason in which a lot could change on their roster. The front office must decide what to do with bench players like D.J. Augustin, Kirk Hinrich and others and there’s also the matter of bringing over power forward Nikola Miroctic from Spain.
But the linchpin to all of the offseason changes seems to be Carlos Boozer and what happens with him. The Bulls have said that they won’t amnesty him in the past and are tight lipped on what they plan to do as he enters the final season of his 2010 contract, but they may have tipped their hand a bit behind the scenes.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, sources inside the Bulls say that Taj Gibson has been told he should start to prepare this offseason as though he’s going to be the starting power forward for the Bulls next season.
This sort of leads us to same conclusions on two different hot topic rumors in Chicago. the first and most obvious is that the Bulls are preparing to jettison Carlos Boozer in the summer and get his contract off the books. They’ll still have to pay him but his salary will no longer count against the cap for Chicago.
That’s the good news, but the bad news seems to be that Nikola Mirotic will be off in Spain another season and the Bulls won’t be brining him over this summer. They might still be able to bring him over and they may just not start him every night, but putting Taj Gibson in the starting position means Mirotic knows he’d be coming to the NBA as a bench player.
That shouldn’t be a total death sentence when it comes to talks dying out between the Bulls and Mirotic but it might not help. Either way though, the Bulls appear to be preparing for a new starting power forward in 2014-15 and he won’t be named Carlos Boozer.