Taj Gibson and Chicago Bulls Reportedly Agree to Contract Extension

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2012

Taj Gibson's contract situation appears to be settled, putting aside any doubts that the Chicago Bulls' power forward would bolt in the near future.

Chicago Tribune reporter K.C. Johnson broke the news:

Taj changed his mind. Agreed to extension.

— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 1, 2012

Johnson also provided a quote from Gibson regarding the extension:

Taj: "I looked at the numbers and that's a lot of money, especially the security."

— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 1, 2012

Gibson, according to Johnson, is set to make $38 million over the next four years. That's solid security for both Gibson and the Bulls franchise when you consider the always-shaky future of starting power forward Carlos Boozer.

No one will mistake Gibson for a superstar talent, but this was a no-brainer for Chicago. With Derrick Rose out of the lineup, this team doesn't have a big-time talent to turn to. That leaves Tom Thibodeau's squad to completely rely on defense to win games, and that's something Gibson is very good at.

Now in his fourth season with the Bulls, Gibson is averaging 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for his career. He's not an incredibly gifted offensive player, but his grit and athleticism make up for it when he needs it to. On the defensive end, he's an above-average shot-blocker, making up for Boozer's passive defense at times.

Chicago's "bench mob" mentality hinges on guys like this. In Chicago's regular-season opener on Wednesday night, Gibson played 19 minutes, scoring five points and swatting away four shots. Little things like that help Chicago earn wins, and it did on Wednesday.

Without Rose, for the time being, the Bulls are in a tough spot. Winning games isn't going to come easy. Blue-collar players will be needed, and Gibson will always provide that much.