Taj Gibson Signs Extension With Bulls

October 31 2012 at 11:43pm CST By Chuck Myron

11:43pm: The Bulls officially announced the extension in a press release.

"I’m very happy that I’m going to remain a Bull for the long haul," Gibson said. "The Bulls are like my second family and I’m excited to know that I’m going to continue to wear 'Bulls' across my chest."

11:19pm: The base pay comes to $32MM, but incentives could make the deal worth $38MM, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

10:52pm: Gibson said the money in the offer from the Bulls didn't change tonight, but contract language did, reports Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

10:39pm: Sam Amick of SI.com tweets that agent Mark Bartelstein says the incentives would only bring the deal up to $38MM, which was initially believed to be Gibson's base pay.

10:28pm: There are incentives in the extension that could bring it up to $40MM, the amount Gibson was asking for earlier tonight, Johnson tweets.

10:12pm: Taj Gibson and the Bulls have agreed to an extension, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports (Twitter link). The deal is for four years and $38MM, tweets Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com. The two sides bridged a reported $8MM gap, as Gibson was seeking $40MM while the team offered $32MM. He told Johnson before Chicago's win over the Kings tonight that he didn't think he'd change his mind an accept the team's offer, but evidently the Bulls upped the ante enough for his liking.

Assuming a $9.5MM salary for Gibson next year, the Bulls appear set up to be a luxury tax team again in 2013/14. They have about $74MM on the books for next year, a number they can knock down to $70MM if they waive Richard Hamilton, whose $5MM deal is only guaranteed for $1MM. The decision to extend Gibson's contract seemingly puts fellow power forward Carlos Boozer at greater risk of being waived via the amnesty clause next summer, since he's due $15.3MM in 2013/14 and $16.8MM the year after that.

Gibson has never averaged more than the 9.0 points per game he put up as a rookie in 2009/10, and has seen his minutes decrease in each of his three seasons. He's expected to take on a larger role this year as the lone remaining member of a well-regarded second unit that helped the Bulls to the league's best regular season record two years in a row. Though he scored only 7.7 PPG last season, his per-36-minutes point production was a career-high 13.6, and his PER has steadily climbed over his time in the league, reaching 16.9 last season. 

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