Now that the Chicago Bulls have assembled their roster for the 2012-2013 season, there are still two rather large pieces of business that need to be tended to.
First of which is the Tom Thibodeau contract extension.
The front office has assembled a team that's sure to try the patience of the defense-first head coach who led the team to the best record in the league for two consecutive seasons. But Thibs is an excellent coach and though the talent on paper doesn’t suggest it, the team should be plenty competitive this season.
Besides, if the team is going to entice any big-name free agents to come to Chicago during the summers of 2013 and 2014, players want to know that a coach is in place that’s going to give them the best chance to win a championship. Tom Thibodeau is that coach.
Secondly, the team needs to try and lock up Taj Gibson for a long-term deal.
If the summer of 2012 taught us anything it's that there are other NBA general managers out there ready do anything to steal players away from their current teams. The three-year, $25 million contract the Houston Rockets gave Omer Asik that pays him $15 million in year three is a prime example.
Taj Gibson is a much better player than Asik and has substantially more value as well, so teams will be licking their chops at trying to get him if he’s on the market next summer. And if Omer got that kind of deal, imagine the offer sheet that Gibson will receive next summer.
Gibson is a key member of the Bulls core and the future starter at power forward. With many hoops pundits not expecting Carlos Boozer to be around past next summer, it’s imperative the Bulls enter into contract negotiations with Gibson right away.
Unlike the reserves the team decided to part ways with this summer, Tom Thibodeau and Taj Gibson are the Bulls' two most important assets and they can’t allow either to just walk away for nothing.