Bulls forward Taj Gibson makes his way down the court after a Bulls foul in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls 99-89 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday March 21, 2013. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: June 12, 2013 8:26PM
SAN ANTONIO — The NBA wants to stop teams from tampering with soon-to-be free agents. Three franchises were nailed Monday, including the Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets for making it known that Dwight Howard and Chris Paul were on their offseason wish list.
But several Bulls players wished the league luck trying to stop it.
Taj Gibson said that Miami Heat star LeBron James tried to recruit him last offseason before Gibson and the Bulls agreed on an extension. Nazr Mohammed said recruiting is “happening everywhere with the players.’’ That’s what the NBA fears.
The league can punish teams if it’s coming from the front office, but if it’s the players recruiting each other, good luck.
“I know [the league office] doesn’t like to hear this, but ultimately it’s good for the league,’’ Mohammed said. “You got guys that like each other, want to play with each other. Why not? The collective-bargaining agreement is going to settle some of it, but guys are going to take huge paycuts to play with their friends.’’
Further evidence that Derrick Rose needs to start recruiting if he wants help.
◆ There continued to be speculation that the Heat would break up its “Big Three’’ this offseason if it loses to the Spurs. The latest rumor is Chris Bosh to the Charlotte Bobcats.
◆ Bill Fitch was named the recipient of the 2013 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award.