According to league sources, the Raptors have been actively involved discussions for at least three power forwards: Serge Ibaka of Orlando, the Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari and the Bulls’ Taj Gibson. Toronto has collected a stockpile of young assets — Norman Powell, Bruno Caboclo, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are all 23 or younger — and the Raptors hold their own first-round draft pick, plus the Clippers’ pick, this season.
Deveney hasn’t been historically accurate by my recollection, but this kind of deal has always made sense and something similar was rumored last year.
The Raptors have been reeling recently and may be more desperate than then to actually make a deal. Or they’ll hold on to everybody and lose to the Bulls every time they play and then in the Eastern Conference playoffs again.
As for the Bulls, unlike with Niko I think they want to hold on to Taj if he wants to re-sign. That’s likely not the best move (as he’ll be 32 next year) but I could still see it happening. The Bulls could negotiate an extension with Gibson now, but since they’re over the cap they’d only be willing to offer 3 years and around $33m. You’d figure even at his age he’d still command more than that in the open market.
If the Raptors are willing to send 2 from that list of young players and picks, I think this is an easy deal to make. Mason Plumlee, also an upcoming free agent, was just traded for a 2017 first and a player on a rookie deal (Jusuf Nurkic), so it stands to reason that the Bulls could get something similar for either Gibson or Mirotic. That of course assumes they’re willing to sacrifice their slim margin in that ‘stay competitive’ track they’re supposedly on.