Source: Bulls, Thibodeau talk deal

Updated: September 5, 2012, 8:05 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and coach Tom Thibodeau have resumed negotiations about a contract extension for Thibodeau, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The Bulls picked up Thibodeau's option for the 2012-13 season after last season. General manager Gar Forman repeatedly has stated that it is the organization's intention to lock up Thibodeau for the long term, even though talks stalled earlier in the summer.

Thibodeau, who won 100 games faster than any coach in NBA history, was hired two summers ago after serving as an assistant for the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers. The Bulls have led the league in regular-season wins both years under Thibodeau, who won coach of the year honors in his first season and finished second last season.

Reports surfaced last season that Thibodeau was unhappy he did not have an extension secured. Forman then appeared on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000 and stated that talks had begun before last season and would resume after the season.

Thibodeau and Forman did not immediately return phone messages.

Bulls players, notably Derrick Rose, have been vocal in support of their coach. While Thibodeau has a hard-charging mentality, Bulls players respect the way he prepares and appreciate his work ethic.

ESPN analyst and Thibodeau friend Jeff Van Gundy recently told ESPNChicago.com's Melissa Isaacson that Thibodeau's potential new deal "seems like the easiest negotiation of all time."

"If I was (the Bulls) and Tom agreed to what (Oklahoma City's) Scott Brooks got (a reported four-year deal worth approximately $18 million), the whole thing would take 25 seconds," said Van Gundy, who hired Thibodeau as an assistant with the New York Knicks. "It's a no-brainer ... My thing is he's an elite coach and should be paid like one."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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