4:55pm: The Bulls confirmed the news via press release. Noah collected 555 out of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 out of a possible 125 first-place votes. Pacers center Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-place votes) and Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-place votes) came in second and third, respectively.
12:46pm: Bulls center Joakim Noah has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award, according to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com (Twitter link). K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune confirms the report (on Twitter). The award is not one of the honors that reportedly would trigger an unlikely bonus, so the news doesn’t have bearing on Chicago’s team salary, which has been close to the tax line this season. The official announcement is set for later today.
Noah finished fourth in the voting for the award last season, behind winner Marc Gasol, even though Noah, and not Gasol, was on the league’s All-Defensive First Team. Writers vote for the Defensive Player of the Year award, while coaches vote for the All-Defensive teams, which accounts for the discrepancy.
The anchor of Chicago’s defense averaged 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals this season. The Bulls were the second most efficient defense in the league this season, per NBA.com, and though they were only slightly less efficient when Noah was off the floor, it was clear his combination of athleticism and 6’11″ size helped the team seal off the basket.