Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/15/12

Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said the team will pick up the third-year option on coach Tom Thibodeau's contract and continue to try to sign him to a long-term deal, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

"We started having conversations about an extension with him in the fall," Forman told the Tribune. "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."

An ESPN report during the season had suggested that Thibodeau was disappointed that his option had not been picked up, but since then both parties have said publicly they are trying to reach agreement on an extension.

The Bulls had a 50-16 regular-season record, tied for the best in the NBA, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the 76ers after 2011 MVP Derrick Rose injured his knee in the first game and was lost for the rest of the season.

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