Taj Gibson will probably sign a contract extension with the Chicago Bulls by the end of October, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Gibson was drafted by the Bulls in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft and has played behind power forward Carlos Boozer for the past two seasons. A key member of the once acclaimed, but now defunct, "bench mob", Gibson averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in just over 20 minutes of playing time last season.
Besides Derrick Rose, Gibson is the Bulls' most valued player and the team is anxious to get a deal done, according to Stein. He writes that without a deal soon, Chicago could lose Gibson similarly to how they lost center Omer Asik this offseason.
No deal in Gibson's case would expose the Bulls to the same conditions that made it possible for Houston to pilfer Omer Asik in restricted free agency this past July. Which is something Chicago really can't afford. Extending Gibson now and cutting ties with Carlos Boozer later via the amnesty clause, sources say, is still the most likely outcome here.
Players from the 2009 NBA Draft Class, or in other words, players entering their fourth NBA season, have until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31 to sign a contract extension. If players are not signed, they will become restricted free agents at season's end. Other than Gibson, players of note entering their fourth seasons include James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets, Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
This story originally appeared at SB Nation.