October 31st is an extremely important day in the NBA this season. And no, not because of Halloween and them wanting to pass out candy.
Players from the 2009 NBA draft class have until 11:59 p.m. on October 31st to sign a contract extension with their respective teams. If they are not signed by that deadline, those players will become restricted free agents at seasons end. Some notable players in this category include James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ty Lawson, and Stephen Curry. Also in that group? One Taj Gibson.
However, sources close to the situation make it clear that re-signing Gibson before the deadline is a major priority for the Bulls.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, “Next to Derrick Rose, there’s no Bull valued more by the organization than Gibson. Extending Gibson now and cutting ties with Carlos Boozer later via the amnesty clause, sources say, is still the most likely outcome here.”
Stein also added, ” Which is why many rival teams expect the Bulls to have Gibson signed to a new deal by month’s end, even though Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is seemingly never in a rush to do extensions.”
While Gibson’s career numbers don’t exactly jump off the screen at you, 7.9 points per game and 6.2 recounds per game, he is a key component to the Bulls long-term plans because of his youth and defensive abilities.
With Derrick Rose not scheduled to return until 2013 at the earliest, the Bulls would be pro-active to begin to look to the future and the 2013-2014 NBA season.