Mere minutes — well, less than an hour, anyway — before the 11 PM CST deadline, the Chicago Bulls and Taj Gibson finally agreed on an extension that will keep Gibson in Chicago until the summer of 2017.
The contract will pay Gibson $8 million per year, or $32 million total, but incentives could push the value of the deal to $38 million.
Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted earlier in the day that talks had stalled and the sides were at an impasse that was unlikely to be broken, but Gibson changed his mind in the 11th hour. Literally, the 11th hour, assuming one is thinking in east coast time.
(Editor's note: I live in Michigan. I think in Eastern time. So sue me.)
Going forward, the Bulls seem to have identified their core: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson. Jimmy Butler could be added to that core at some point, as could future draft picks. You also can't forget about Nikola Mirotic, who's in Europe until 2014.
Is that a championship team? Can't say until Rose comes back and we can figure out what level he'll play at. Until then…all bets are off.
But thank god Taj will still be around.
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