CHICAGO -- All Taj Gibson can do is shake his head and smile.
The Bulls forward has heard the rumors all summer that he may be involved in some kind of deal but he understands that's just part of the business side of the NBA.
"It's crazy," he told ESPNChicago.com on Wednesday night after a Nike House of Hoops event. "Every time I turn around [I hear something], but it's a part of the game. My coach in high school and even my dad told me when your name doesn't pop up then you have to be worried. But that's what happens when you have a good season and people seem to see that you have a lot more potential -- it's great. I'm just looking forward to getting to the season and hopefully getting even better."
The USC alum had a solid rookie season for the Bulls becoming a key contributor while averaging nine points and eight rebounds a game. Those are the biggest reasons why Gibson's name continues to swirl in the rumor mill. Unless the team can land a superstar, it's hard to imagine Bulls' brass would flip Gibson in any kind of deal. They view him as a building block for the future and it's the message they relayed to the 25 year-old.
"Right after the season, that's what they told me," Gibson said. "They just told me I had a great season and I look forward to being part of this team and growing, but this is the NBA, you never can really tell, guys move around so often, but we have to just sit back and wait. My name's always going to be in most of the trades; it's kind of a bad thing, but that's what happens when you're kind of productive and [the team] knows you'll work hard in an NBA game."
Gibson gutted his way through the entire 82 game season a year ago while dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot, but after a summer's worth of rehab he feels like he is healthy and ready to go.
"It's feeling much better," he said. "Just getting rehab, staying on it, get icing [treatments], it's been going well. The Bulls staff has taken really good care of my foot."
Speaking of the Bulls' coaching staff, Gibson has been impressed early on by what he's seen from new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
"It's been great," he said. "I've been going in [the Berto Center] everyday, working out extremely hard trying to get better and just learning from him and his staff. The staff has been treating me so well, [I'm] just learning from them. Thibs is a coach we're going to have a great respect for, just how he goes with his gameplans and how he handles his business and I'm just looking forward to learning from him."