HoopsHype Taj Gibson rumors

December 3, 2012 Updates

After Gibson signed a four-year extension -- worth up to $39 million with certain escalators -- on opening night, Thibodeau saw what many saw early this season in regards to Gibson's play. "Thibs said 'You're pressing,'" Gibson said after Saturday night's win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Thibodeau watched proudly as Gibson developed into one of the best reserves in the game over the past few years. The USC alum was a force defensively and worked hard to develop a consistent mid-range jumper. ESPN.com

The happy-go-lucky forward isn't hiding from the pressure of the new deal, though. He knows a lot is expected from him and he wants to live up to his new deal. "Of course I think about that," he said. "But then that's too much ... I can't put too much pressure on myself. I have to just go out there and just do my job. There's already added pressure wearing a Bulls jersey, but just thinking about all the other stuff that's going to pull you down, you just have to go out there and just play and have fun. That's what I've been doing the last couple of games and just getting back to the basics. Just focusing on defense and when it's time to score, just take my looks." ESPN.com

But this season was different. Since the preseason and the constant chatter about whether he would get an extension done, Gibson didn't look like the same player. He wasn't playing with the same zeal and looked increasingly frustrated at times on the floor. So Thibodeau picked up the phone a couple weeks ago and tried to get the 27-year-old back on track. "I remember one day he called me, he pulled me to the side and said, 'Don't worry about it, you're pressing,'" Gibson said. "Just play your game, have fun, you're doing a great job on defense and doing good leading our defense. Just stay with the fundamentals, just have fun, and that's what I'm trying to do. "Every day in practice I'm going hard, I'm going in early, I'm staying late and I'm just trying to get better. It's going to be ups and downs, that's what I realized early in my career, it's been times when I wasn't shooting the ball well, but then come playoff time I'm at a high. Just got to stay the course and keep playing." ESPN.com

November 28, 2012 Updates

Taj Gibson said pressure of living up to contract extension isn't affecting his play, is confident he is improving. "There’s always pressure because you’re wearing the Bulls jersey," Gibson said. "I’m still adjusting to a different team and having to do a lot more on defense, talking more. I have to be more vocal. The coaching staff is telling me to keep working. "I’ve been frustrated I haven’t been able to shoot well. I put a ton of work in this summer. I just have to work my way out of it. I’m trying to do other things---be solid on defense, make plays for others like I did last game and try to bring energy to help us win." Sulia

November 19, 2012 Updates

After Damian Lillard iced the Blazers’ 102-94 victory over the Bulls with a dunk with 1.9 seconds left, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson bee-lined toward the rookie point guard at center court to express their displeasure. LaMarcus Aldridge and other Blazers prevented a post-game incident by intervening, but Lillard’s late-game display caused quite a commotion Sunday night at the Rose Garden. “I just told him he can’t do that,” Gibson said. “He didn’t say anything. He was making a scene out of nothing. He made the layup and me and Joakim just addressed it, like, ‘In the future, you have to be smarter. A lot of teams aren’t going to let you do that.’" Oregonian

November 2, 2012 Updates

Gibson credited his agent, Mark Bartelstein, for convincing him to accept the Bulls’ offer late Wednesday. “I asked him, ‘What do you think? Don’t give me the bull(crud). Be real with me,’ and he was real with me,” Gibson recounted. “He said, ‘I don’t want you to turn this down. I know we can probably get more this summer, but it’s all about if you’re happy or not. I want you to take this. It’s too much of a risk to go out there and you never know what could happen.’ Arlington Heights Daily Herald

November 1, 2012 Updates

John Hollinger: Thought it was a good deal for Chicago. Remember Gibson is very old for a fourth-year player so there's no real upside to factor in, unlike with the other guys. That said, Gibson is such a beast on defense - he's just waaaaaay more valuable at that end than the rest of the extension crew. Additionally, the $ are just low enough that it might take a Boozer amnesty out of play. ESPN.com

After walking away from what appeared to be the final offer from the Bulls for a contract extension with the Wednesday night deadline approaching, Gibson had a change of heart, inking a four-year deal believed to be in the neighborhood of $32 million, just minutes after a 93-87 win over the Sacramento Kings. Before the game, Gibson and his agent Mark Bartelstein not only seemed to have a line drawn in the sand, but seemed to have their minds made up on taking their chances in the 6-foot-9 forward becoming a restricted free agent this summer. “I highly doubt it,’’ Gibson replied, when asked in the pregame if there was going to be a change of heart. “That’s the way I see it. Just got to put it behind me, move forward, try to win games.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

While the money didn’t change, according to Gibson, some of the language in the deal did. “I just thought about it, but basically it was Paxson and Gar just stressing to me that I really want to be here for a long time,’’ Gibson explained. “It kind of dawned on me that I don’t want to be a selfish player, I just want to get what’s fair. I looked at the numbers, and that’s a lot of money. I couldn’t turn down that much money, especially for the security, you never know what can happen throughout the year. Chicago Sun-Times

October 31, 2012 Updates

Power forward Taj Gibson still was hoping he and the Bulls would be able to hammer out a contract extension before the deadline Wednesday for a player entering his fourth season. But there is growing speculation the Bulls might let the deadline pass and take their chances with matching an offer for Gibson when he can become a restricted free agent after the season. Chicago Sun-Times

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