The clock is ticking and Taj Gibson hasn’t yet reached for the pen. As the Bulls prepared to face Sacramento in their season opener, it appeared the two sides would not come to terms on a contract extension before the 11 p.m. deadline.
Gibson spoke briefly in the locker room and seemed resigned to becoming a restricted free agent next summer.
A few minutes later, general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson chatted courtside while Gibson shot baskets. Asked if could say anything about the Gibson negotiations, Forman replied, “There’s still time.”
A few extensions got done Wednesday. James Harden reportedly agreed to a five-year, $80-million deal with Houston; Golden State’s Stephen Curry got four years and $44 million, while Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan got four years, estimated between $40-42. Denver agreed to a four-year, $48 million extension with point guard Ty Lawson.
Gibson’s market value is probably around $8 million per season, but there’s no way to predict what sort of offer he could get next summer. Through his first three seasons, the 6-9 Gibson averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds, while serving as a key member of the reserve unit.
Complicating matters is the fact that the Bulls are above the luxury tax and have no big expiring contracts after this season. There has been speculation the Bulls might use the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer if they succeed in re-signing Gibson.