The Bulls wrapped up a major loose end this morning when they dropped a pleasant bomb on the world: they had reached an agreement to extend the contract of head coach Tom Thibodeau through the 2016-17 season. The extension came after a tumultuous offseason that saw the Bulls gut the bench mob and lose “top priority” Omer Asik to the Houston Rockets. The Bulls are taking steps to avoid such a situation from happening again, and are reportedly “very close” to reaching an agreement with power forward Taj Gibson.
Obviously, with the Thibodeau situation tied up in a nice neat little bow, the Bulls are planning for the future and Carlos Boozer doesn’t appear to be a part of it. Taj Gibson however, has always seemed to be the future at forward and he’s more than proved his worth filling in for the oft terrible Boozer.
But he’s int he final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent at seasons end. This is the same position the Bulls were in last year with center Omer Asik, but they felt they could wait him out and reach an agreement on a $2-$4 million contract at the end of the year.
Then came the Houston Rockets and away went Asik to the south.
It goes without saying that this rubbed Bulls fans the wrong way and sent bloggers and writers scrambling for reasons the move made sense (except the more competent ones like Jay Pratt at BlogaBull, Caleb Nordgren at Bulls101 and Avi “Raging Bull” Saini). But regardless of which side you were on, the fact of the matter remained that the Bulls had conned themselves out of their treasured big man off the bench.
If losing Asik rubbed Bulls fans rhubarb the wrong way, losing Gibson would cause buildings to fall.
So the Bulls are in talks to keep Gibson here long term, and according to K.C. Johnson and Aggery Sam, those talks could culminate in a contract agreement as soon as the end of October.
Chicago needs to get this deal done ASAP, as if they begin to tread towards another offseason like the one that was just endured, Bulls fans wouldn’t be blamed if they began to lose interest in the club. Gar Forman, John Paxson and Jerry “Moneybags” Reinsdorf know this, and it’s hard to not connect the dots between this past offseason and the sudden rush to re-sign Taj Gibson long term.