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Report: Bulls to start contract extension talks with Taj Gibson

Jul 19, 2012, 10:56 AM EDT

Bulls' Gibson celebrates after a dunk on the Heat during Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference Finals playoff basketball game in Chicago Reuters

The Bulls still have to fill out the edges of their roster for next season — do they match the offer sheet for Omer Asik? Who can help back up at the point guard spot? — but once they get past that, they want to get back to focusing on their core.

They want to talk long-term deal with Taj Gibson, reports Aggrey Sam at

Gibson, who will be a free agent following next season, is highly coveted around the league, but the Bulls believe he fits into their future plans, so in the fashion of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, there is hope that a deal can be reached prior to the beginning of the regular season.

Gibson stepped up his game last year in his third season, although he averaged just 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game he became more efficient doing it. Also, he’s a good defender at multiple positions. He’s entering his fourth year in the league but is older at age 27, he’s going to want to get paid now.

It’s hard to see the Bulls matching the Asik offer sheet then trying to talk long-term deal with Gibson. The Bulls have been shopping Rip Hamilton around this summer and they might amnesty Carlos Boozer next year. As Sam points out, maybe the biggest question will be whether to start talking new deal with Luol Deng next year, and what is the price tag there? Is it too steep for a team that avoids the luxury tax? If Deng leaves will the Bulls have some space to bring in another star player?

Lots of questions. Do any of the answers have you saying, “This team will do what it takes to win an NBA title?”

  1. lmoneyfresh - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    They need to extend Taj and trade Deng. I like Deng, but I don’t think he’s worth the $$ he’s getting. Trade him for a legit 2 and let Butler take his spot.

  2. coolj23 - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    As Chicagoan and big bulls fan I’m gonna have to agree, Deng is way over paid and we have other needs as well. They must also amnesty boozer and bring the kid over from Europe that would be your answer at the four spot. I think both he and Gibson would compliment each other.

  3. steelerfanforlife - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    This Bulls fan thinks Deng is worth every penny he’s getting! He leads the team in minutes played for a reason! Love Taj and as long as he isn’t overpaid would love to have him back.

    • itsthemelman82 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Totally agree! His one on one defense alone makes worth the contract and he’s really good on ofense when he’s on the court with D. Rose. That being said Taj is the most important guy on the bench especially with Boozer on this team.

  4. cincyorangenblack - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Nikola Mirotic will ultimately be the missing puzzle piece that brings this squad a title. I just hope he comes over after next year b/c i don’t think he can (contractually) this year. Kid is an absolute STUD.

    and btw, i agree on Deng, but i’d trade him after this year

  5. canehouse - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I think Deng is worth it… Taj is worth it too. What to do? Guess you need to go with the big.

  6. lumas101 - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    I hate to see Deng go, but the truth is this is the situation the Bulls are in now. I think they will be better than people expect this season (I see little separation between Boston/Brooklyn, Chicago after Miami as the clear #1 seed) but the Bulls team being assembled this year cannot beat the Bulls of the past two years, much less Miami. In two years, the team will be comprised of Rose, Noah, Gibson (assuming these negotiations go through), Jimmy Butler, Marquis Teague and Nikola Mirotic. They will also have either used or traded their pick from Charlotte, or be a season away from having an unprotected pick. The Bulls’ three options with Deng are to get him re-signed and assume he will be a contributing member to that team winning a championship, possibly watch him walk to another team for free, or get something back in the meantime. Rose, Noah and Gibson should have several strong years of play left, while the rest of that squad will just be coming into their prime. I think it makes more sense to turn Deng into commodities that fit the youth movement coming in two years rather than the status quo of the next two seasons.

  7. tomossriceenoughsaid - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    oh yah 11 million is way overpaid for an all star and a top 5 defender. Get real Luol haters

    • hwatt - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      yeah deng is the 2nd most important guy on the team. Losses happen fast without him glueing everything together for 40+ minutes a game. If Thibs loves to have him on the floor for the whole game during a season where they had the best record, then you keep him and pay him, period.

  8. charlescub80 - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Ohhh yeahhhh!

  9. chicagosworth - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Deng is worth it. He is an all star for good reason. He is a Bull and wants to finish his career in Chicago and will.

  10. fanz928 - Jul 20, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    Taj is gonna get a big payday bigger than asik, probably the size of hump deal

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