There's plenty of news out of the Central Division this evening, so let's jump right in.
- As the Bulls and Taj Gibson make progress toward an extension, Shams Charania of RealGM.com says both sides want to make a long-term commitment (Twitter link).
- Charania also checks in with Malcolm Thomas, the Bulls summer league standout who signed to play in Israel. Before he inked that contract, Thomas had an agreement in place with Dongguan on the Chinese Basketball Association, but the deal fell apart, Charania reports.
- Entering the final year of his contract with the Pacers, David West appears much healthier to start this season than he was a year ago, when he was still feeling the effects of his torn left ACL, writes Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
- The Pistons are impressed with Ukrainian big man Slava Kravtsov despite a language barrier that causes some on-court communication problems, as MLive's David Mayo writes.
- Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio shares Cavs coach Byron Scott's thoughts on the new anti-flopping rule, and the coach seems unconcerned, despite the presence of noted flopper Anderson Varejao on the roster. Scott also says he's impressed with second-year man Tristan Thompson, and says he has an edge over Samardo Samuels and Jon Leuer for the starting power forward job.
- Kelenna Azubuike started 51 games for the Warriors in 2008/09, but in large measure because of two surgeries on a torn left patella tendon, he's only played in 12 NBA games since. Jodie Valade of the Plain Dealer looks at how he's trying to resurrect his career with the Cavs this season. Valade also passes along a note from Scott hinting that the team may keep both Donald Sloan and Jeremy Pargo as backups to Kyrie Irving.
- Joe Gabriele of Cavs.com chronicles the unconventional path Alonzo Gee took to become an established player in the NBA.