Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
K.C. Johnson is reporting that the Bulls and Taj Gibson are about $2 million apart per season on a new contract extension.
Talks between the Bulls and Mark Bartelstein, Gibson's Chicago-based agent, continue. Sources said the roughly $8 million gap over four years isn't atypical for this stage of negotiations.
So the Bulls and Gibson are about $2 million apart per season. That seems like a decent amount this stage in the game, but things can change quickly. Also:
The Bulls want to avoid having Gibson become a restricted free agent next summer should they fail to reach an extension, particularly since they were burned when Omer Asik reached that status. But they also have no plans to commit $10 million annually to Gibson, 27, when Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah all average north of that figure.
To be honest, although I love him, I too would be hesitant to shell out $10 million annually for Gibson. He's still not that great of an offensive player, and we haven't seen him produce at a high level as a starter for an entire season. So if he really does hold out for that and the Bulls don't give it to him, I couldn't be that upset with them.
Of course, if he does hold out for that and the Bulls have no intention of going that high, they must trade him. The Bulls simply can't let the guy walk like Omer Asik. They obviously can't add on much salary right now because of being hard-capped, so that along with the fact that he currently makes very does hinder things a little bit if they want to deal him immediately. But I'm sure a decent deal could be found nonetheless. If the Bulls let him walk a la countless other assets, then I'd be peeved.
All along we've heard mostly positive reports about an agreement being reached. Gibson has said he wants to stay in Chicago long term. However, we also heard similar things come from Harden, and bam, he got dealt. I ultimately think a Gibson deal is reached right before the deadline, but it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't.