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Bulls, Taj Gibson starting contract negotiations

Sep 21, 2012, 7:38 PM 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

They are talking. But if I were a betting man I would bet the open market is going to determine Taj Gibson’s worth.

Taj Gibson is about to enter his fourth NBA season, which means the Bulls can offer him an extension to his rookie contract. Like they did with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

The two sides are talking, reports Aggrey Sam of — but there is a deadline, if there is no agreement by Oct. 31 Gibson will be a restricted free agent next summer.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about for a while,” Gibson’s agent, Chicago-based Mark Bartelstein, told “Gar and I have been putting a lot of work in.

“Taj would love to be a Bull for a long time, there’s no question about that.”

This really becomes about money. The Bulls are clearly setting themselves up to clear out cap space in 2014 to make a run at a major free agent (or to make a big trade) to pair with Rose. Gibson might well be the kind of guy they want around as a third option on that kind of team, but at what price?

Sam reports the Bulls do want to keep him.

Privately, the Bulls’ brain trust values Gibson very highly and acknowledge he’s a keeper, but if Gibson and the Bulls don’t agree to terms by Halloween, he’ll hit the open market next summer, albeit as a restricted free agent. Gibson won’t lack for suitors if he becomes a free agent, especially after raising his profile with another strong postseason performance, followed by an outing with the USA Basketball Select Team that drew raves from observers.

It’s a risk for the Bulls, if they don’t sign him and Gibson takes another step forward this season then he becomes more expensive when the suitors come calling.

It’s something to watch. My guess is he hits the open market.

  1. 00maltliquor - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    This guy has overpaid written all over him. Not saying he’s not a good player, but look at what happend with Asik. This guy is in the same mold.

    • stayhigh_247 - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:35 AM

      dude, sounds like you’ve been sipping on your name all day. dont get high off your own supply! Taj is a baller. Is he a superstar? No but overpaid, not likely. Beasley is overpaid, but with Taj you get your $’s worth.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:59 AM

        lol! You’re high dude…24-7! Not arguing that Taj isn’t a good player or that he doesn’t bring forth the effort every damn night, hell, Ronny Turiaf brings 110% effort every damn night. Doesn’t mean Ronny Turiaf should get a 4yr, 24 million dollar contract. I’m just saying he reaks of a player that’s gonna get a 4yr., 35+ million dollar contract. That’s overpaying bro. That’s all. Now pass it to the left hand side bruh, you’re messing up the rotation!

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