Taj Gibson contract: Talks ongoing, expected to push up against Wednesday deadline

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

The Taj Gibson contract extension talks are ongoing and are expected to go down to Wednesday's deadline.

[Note by your friendly BullsBlogger, 10/31/12 4:47 PM CDT: Latest from Woj on Wednesday afternoon: "Unless new momentum is generated, Taj Gibson extension with Chicago is unlikely before deadline tonight" ]

An update about the talks between the Bulls and Taj Gibson as they try to hammer out an extension. From CBS Sports' Ken Berger:

K.C. Johnson also believes the talks will go right up to the end:

I figured this thing would go down to the wire, so this really isn't that big of news. Although it will make tomorrow even more tense. I know I'll be frantically checking Twitter for updates.

John Paxson actually opened his mouth and talked about the Gibson situation on ESPN 1000 earlier today, and while he said he wants Taj around for the long haul, he pretty much put it in Gar Forman's hands:

"I don't know (if a deal will get done by Wednesday)," Paxson said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "(General manager Gar Forman) and (Gibson agent Mark Bartelstein) are still talking and trying to work it out and find some common ground. And you always hope so, we'd like to have Taj in the fold.

"But the reality is in our business there is restricted free agency, and Taj unlike Omer Asik is a Bird exception next year, so we have the right to match. A team can't come in and structure the deal like Houston did with Omer to make it difficult. The rules really hurt us in that case. I'm not really sure why that exception was in there. But we want Taj. We view Taj as a long-term piece for us. When you're negotiating things, as long as you've got time, you stay optimistic that something will get done."

Not really sure how I feel about Paxson's outlook here. He's basically saying that it's not that bad if Gibson gets to restricted free agency, because they have the right to match any offer. But it's not like they didn't have the right to match Asik's offer, it just turned out to be too unpalatable for their taste. And while it's true a Gibson offer can't be structured like Asik's with a "poison pill" year, I still envision a situation where a team with cap space overpays for Gibson, especially if he has a big year. In that case, it once again may be too unpalatable. Of course, the trade options are always in play.

It will be an interesting next couple of days.


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