The Chicago Bulls front office has been plain-talking over the last year about their need to keep Taj Gibson on the roster.
The sensation is mutual. Basketball lines
Gibson, who will turn into a limited independent agent at the end of next season, knows the Bulls have a lot of other calls to make before they get down to hammering out an extension, but he’d like to lock something up which would make him a Bull for an extended period of time to come.
“Really, it’s unimportant (when it occurs),” Gibson said. “I told (GM) Gar (Forman) and (vice president John Paxson) how committed I am to just being with the Bulls. It isn’t an idea in my head to leave Chicago because I like playing for the Bulls.
Bartelstein confirmed the 2 sides had primary talks regarding an extension. The sides will meet again later on in the summer once the Bulls wrap up all the other decisions facing them in the short term, including the NBA draft and other roster moves.
Like Gibson, Bartelstein appeared assured the sides could work out an extension given the mutual respect on either side. The vet agent believes Gibson will continue to prosper in the same environment next season, and most likely for many years to come if and when an extension is hammered out.
Gibson gave himself far more leverage towards an extension in the postseason, averaging almost ten points and 7 rebounds a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
With Crane Rose (ACL) and Joakim Noah (ankle) out due to injuries, Gibson was the Bulls most consistent player. The 26 year old admitted that he’s still rehabbing an ankle injury he suffered during the series, but he is expecting to be prepared to go in a month when he heads to Vegas as a part of Team USA’s select squad, made up of young players throughout the league who will scrimmage against the National team before they’re going to the London Olympic Games.
Gibson, who just finished his 3rd season in the league, is looking forward to competing against some of the finest talent in the country.
“I’m excited,” he said. “The training staff is real happy for me. They exclaimed it’s a big move, especially being selected; it’s excellent for my game. Specifically to go in there and learn from other players, compete. But the whole end result is solely to learn and build self-confidence.”
The power forward thinks the experience will benefit both himself and the Chicago Bulls in the future. He knows he has elevated himself into the higher echelon of young players in the league, but he’s trying to stay focused on what’s ahead.
“It’s good, but simultaneously I just look at it as going in there and getting better,” Gibson related. “Learning from other guys, that is all of it, just learning, just having the right sort of mind-set, My opinion is that it’s perhaps only a week of practicing, but I’m anticipating improving and using what I learned in our next training camp for the Bulls and our next season.”