Chicago Sun-Times

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Does Ben Gordon have a verbal offer of $11 million per season from the Detroit Pistons?
Sam Smith reported on his blog that he's heard Raymond Brothers, Gordon's agent, has ``allegedly has been saying he has an $11 million promise from the Pistons.''
Gordon will be an unrestricted free agent July 1 and, by league rule, no teams can negotiate with players until then.
Brothers' negotiations with the Bulls went nowhere each of the last two year when he insisted Gordon be the highest-paid player on the team. Gordon declined a five-year, $50 million contract extension in September, 2007, and six years and $58 million last September.
The Pistons are expected to have $23 million in salary cap room this summer, so the team could sign Gordon for such money.
Gordon, however, also wants to be a starter and the Pistons seemingly are set at starting guard with Rodney Stuckey and Richard Hamilton.

Gordon, contract status still on hold

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Ben Gordon remained unsigned Wednesday, so he sat out for a third practice. Gordon, a restricted free agent, has until the league deadline of 11 p.m. tonight to sign the team's one-year qualifying offer of $6.4 million. Gordon has been monitoring the team's two-a-day sessions from the sideline.
General manager John Paxson and Gordon's agent, Raymond Brothers, have been negotiating again since Monday. But a long-term deal, and indications are one is not currently on the table, remains a long shot as the two sides have been at an impasse for a year.


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By Brian Hanley
Ben Gordon believes he and the Bulls are about to part ways.
"Right now, honestly, it doesn't look like it," Gordon told the Hartford Courant about returning to the Bulls for a fifth season. ``I think a decision is going to be made soon. I've had a great time [with the Bulls]. I was fortunate enough to play on a team that made the playoffs. I led the team in scoring three of the four seasons I've been here. It's been a good experience, but we haven't been able to come to any common ground. It's just part of the business. You have to do what you have to do sometimes."
Gordon, who the Bulls drafted third in 2004, is now a restricted free agent. He and the team have failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension since negotiations started last summer. Gordon turned down a five-year, $50 million offer from the Bulls last October. The team is believed to have now offered six years and approximately $60 million and do not want to go any higher because then they would be subject to the NBA's luxury tax, a dollar-for-dollar penalty when the payroll exceeds the tax threshold of $71.15 million.
Messages left for both Gordon and general manager John Paxson were not immediately returned.
Gordon's comments to the Courant came while he was home to promote his charity weekend in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Since Gordon is a restricted free agent, the Bulls could match any offer from another team. The only team with significant salary cap room is the Memphis Grizzlies and they reportedly tendered a $58-million offer sheet Thursday to Atlanta's Josh Smith.
Gordon, as a restricted free agent, would have to agree to any sign-and-trade deal. He could also sign the team's $6.4 million qualifying offer, play out this season, and become an unrestricted free agent next summer free to sign with any team.

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