Gordon patiently waiting for new contract

By The Associated Press

LISLE, Ill. – -While contract negotiations with the Chicago Bulls crawl along, guard Ben Gordon is keeping his options open.

Playing in Europe is one, but it’s not his first choice.

Gordon made it clear he would rather stay put than follow the example set by Josh Childress, who bolted from the Atlanta Hawks for a three-year deal in Greece that will guarantee him at least $20 million after taxes.

“Definitely, it’s a possibility now with the euro being so strong,” Gordon said Monday at his youth basketball camp. “Josh did it. It just depends on what the individual wants and what he can put up with. It’s definitely something that seems like it would be interesting, but ideally, I’d like to be here playing in the states for the team that drafted me.”

The third pick in the 2004 draft, Gordon averaged 18.6 points and led Chicago in scoring for the third year in a row, but it was a difficult season for him and the Bulls. Gordon and fellow restricted free agent Luol Deng turned down five-year extensions worth more than $50 million right before the start of last season and saw their scoring averages drop.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Those failed negotiations and the Kobe Bryant trade rumors set a bad tone for a team that expected to contend in the Eastern Conference but finished 33-49. Coach Scott Skiles lost his job in December, and interim coach Jim Boylan got fired at the end of the season.

The Bulls finally hired Vinny Del Negro as coach after high-profile courtships with Mike D’Antoni and Doug Collins fell through, and they defied long odds to win the draft lottery, taking Derrick Rose with the No. 1 pick. While it’s been a busy offseason, the work isn’t finished.

Gordon said he has no timetable for completing a deal. The Bulls have the right to match any offer he receives on the open market, and he said several teams have expressed some interest in a sign-and-trade deal, although there “hasn’t been anything more than just teams talking.” He could also sign the Bulls’ one-year tender offer and hit the market as an unrestricted free agent next summer if they don’t agree on a long-term contract.

“In the ideal world, I’d like to come back and be a part of this team and doing what I’ve been doing in the past,” Gordon said. “But I realize with the amount of guards we have, anything’s possible.”