Report: Bulls want to improve 'at any cost,' only Derrick Rose untouchable

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Would Chicago part ways with Taj Gibson to get Carmelo Anthony?
Would Chicago part ways with Taj Gibson to get Carmelo Anthony? (USATSI)

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The Chicago Bulls are "looking to improve the starting lineup at any cost," and only Derrick Rose is untouchable in trade discussions, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

“They are looking to exhaust as many assets as it will take,'' one source said of general manager Gar Forman and head of basketball operations John Paxson.

But the source said it was “doubtful” whether that meant the long-rumored departure of coach Tom Thibodeau could come into play.

Chicago has been linked to Carmelo Anthony for a long while, and it remains a logical destination for him. It's just tricky because if the Knicks wouldn't agree to a sign and trade, the Bulls would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer, renounce the rights to their free agents and dump additional salary. That's doable, though, and Anthony is not their only option. They might even be willing to trade big man Taj Gibson:

Carmelo Anthony is still Plan A as the Bulls and the rest of the NBA await to see if the Knicks forward will opt out of his contract. But the Bulls are more active in their pursuit of Kevin Love than initially rumored. Also, don't rule out LeBron James coming into play again if the four-time MVP opts out of his deal.

After the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs, the Sun-Times reported that Joakim Noah not only actively recruited Anthony at the All-Star Game, but he stayed on him throughout the second half of the season. The catch was that Noah didn't want teammate Taj Gibson sacrificed to bring Anthony over.

The front office agreed with Noah, but according to a source, that grip might have loosened if it means adding a proven All-Star-caliber player.

Chicago should be careful when it comes to Gibson, as he has developed into an excellent two-way player and is being paid a reasonable $25.45 million over the next three seasons. He is a big part of the Bulls' identity, though it seems the organization might be willing to alter its identity if it can add to its talent level this summer.

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