The Chicago Bulls inked Taj Gibson to a strong extension, but his contract numbers could lead to salary cap issues down the line.
The Chicago Bulls, by most accounts, did well in their contract extension with Taj Gibson. Initial reports of $38 million in base pay were received with enthusiasm, but as it turns out, it's likely that they're paying him less than that in base pay. Approximately $32 million could come to him over four years if he doesn't meet a myriad of incentives that could potentially drive up to that $38 million number.
Eight million is a lot easier to stomach than a number that gets dangerously close to $10 million per season. Unfortunately, as noted by SB Nation's Blog a Bull, the $8 million number could still be problematic for the Bulls:
"$8m is still substantial for a team with four >$10m players already on the books for next season, and given the Bulls history with team payroll it may cause another domino to fall next offseason. But this is certainly a better (and more flexible!) situation than the uncertainty of letting a quality defensive big-man in his prime into restricted free agency."
Chicago boasts plenty of new players on the team this year, for better or for worse. They've had to continually maneuver around the NBA's salary cap, so having Gibson join four others nearing that $10 million mark could put them in what many refer to as "salary cap hell," so to speak.
Still, that's a (potential) problem for the future, and not something the Bulls need to concern themselves with in the here and now. What they can focus on in the here and now is the fact that they got Gibson for significantly less money than most felt he'd earn on the open market.