After some pessimism earlier on Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls and reserve power forward Taj Gibson came to an agreement on a four-year contract extension. The new deal will kick in starting next season:
Taj says his deal is for $38 mil over 4 years.— Nick Friedell (@ESPNChiBulls) November 1, 2012
Gibson and the Bulls had been talking for quite some time about an extension, but as Wednesday's midnight deadline drew nearer, things were not looking good. Before the Bulls' season opener against the Sacramento Kings, the vibe was that a deal would not get done and that Gibson would be heading to restricted free agency next summer. After the game, Gibson apparently had a change of heart.
Gibson is entering his fourth season as a Bull. The past few years, he was the anchor of one of the NBA's best benches, teaming with big man Omer Asik to form a dominant defensive second unit. Asik is now gone to Houston, so Gibson will be counted on even more to provide a post presence off the bench.
Gibson has career averages of 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds, but his effectiveness goes beyond the box score thanks to his stellar defense. He often saw time in the fourth quarter in place of Carlos Boozer, who may be an amnesty candidate with Gibson on the roster for the long haul.