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Why Taj Gibson Should Start at PF Next Season

Taj Gibson appeared to play his way into a starter's role, but Carlos Boozer and his contract makes that difficult.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Taj Gibson has proven he's the best power forward on the Chicago Bulls roster, but Carlos Boozer's $80 million dollar contract stands in the way of making it official.

    As the NBA Playoffs continue on, the Chicago Bulls front office is most likely in decision-making mode. Their season prematurely came to an end last week, and now they must now figure out what changes to the roster will allow them to remain competitive but also become championship caliber.

    Aside from the obvious need to bring in a veteran point guard or solid combo guard who can run the offense and then transition to playing off the ball once Rose is ready to return to action, the other elephant in the room is what to do about Taj Gibson?

    Gibson was by far the best player in Chicago's first round series against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Bulls would be crazy to let him go. Not only has he earned himself a contract extension and a raise, it also makes one wonder if he's earned the starting power forward job over Carlos Boozer?

    Of course, that's a lot easier said than done.

    It's well known (and also much lamented) that Boozer signed a hefty five year, $80 million dollar contract with the Bulls in the summer of 2010 and so far, fans don't feel as if they've gotten their money's worth. Boozer sat out most of last season with a broken hand and his play was completely underwhelming during their postseason run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

    This year, Boozer did make amends somewhat by having a solid regular season, playing all 66 games, leading the team in points scored and was essentially the anchor of the Bulls offense with Rose's injury troubles.

    But once again in the Playoffs, when it mattered, Booz was essentially a no-show, especially with Chicago facing elimination in Game 6. He scored just three points on 1-11 shooting and was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of Gibson.

    And Boozer's now infamous postgame quote after the Bulls were eliminated didn't help endear him to fans already frustrated with his play and want him run out of town via trade, amnesty, buy out, whatever. ESPN Chicago has the quote:

    “I thought I played well, especially with the kind of season it was. We had the best record again in basketball, won our division again, had the top seed again, that's all that matters, yo.”

    Not in Chicago, Carlos. Championships are all that matter around here, yo.