Fans are tired of hearing about it. Taj Gibson is tired of talking about it. The reality however is that 11 p.m. Wednesday night is the deadline for Gibson and the Bulls to come to an agreement on a new contract extension.
Gibson has said that he’d just rather focus on basketball and has even gone so far as to turn off his phone because the questions about his contract have become so frequent. But his Chicago based agent Mark Bartlestein won’t be deterred by his phone calls going straight to Taj’s voicemail.
“A majority of the time, my agent just pops up at my house at like 6 a.m. with McDonald’s and he’s like, ‘Here we go. We’ve got to over this,’” said Gibson after practice on Tuesday.
According to a Chicago Tribune report, the Bulls are standing firm on an offer already extended to Gibson which is believed to be between $30 and $32 million over four years. $8 million per year is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but Taj could presumably get more as a restricted free-agent next summer.
The Bulls would have to right to match any offer he receives from another team who, incidentally, cannot backload the contract (poison pill) in the same manner the Houston Rockets did to snag Omer Asik. That was the big fear – at least from a fan perspective – and the stressed importance of getting a deal done in October.
Now, there is technically no rush, and as far as Taj is concerned, he’d prefer not to discuss his contract situation further until an actual agreement is reached.
“Every other day I’m telling my agent that I don’t want to talk about it. If it’s not done, don’t call me about it.”