Tom Thibodeau

General manager Gar Forman on Tuesday said the Bulls will pick up Tom Thibodeau’s third-year team option and reiterated the desire to sign the coach to a long-term extension.

“We started having conversations about an extension with him in the fall,” Forman said. “We hope to continue those discussions. Obviously, we value Tom greatly. We value what he brings to the organization and the team. We think he’s one of the finest coaches in the league and hope he’ll be our coach long-term.”

In late March, Thibodeau and management did their best to diffuse an ESPN story that suggested Thibodeau was annoyed he hadn’t had his option picked up. Both sides have said publicly they hope to reach an extension. So while negotiations on years and dollars likely will feature haggling, both sides sound committed to the same goal.

“I’m not worried about that,” Thibodeau said. “Those things all take care of themselves.”

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune