Chicago Bulls

Community Shootaround: Joakim Noah

Bulls big man Joakim Noah is eligible for free agency this summer, and one teammate told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that Noah has been saying recently that he’s done with the organization once free agency begins, with the big man also adding that he “has no trust in the front office getting this in the right direction.” Noah, who has spent all of his nine NBA seasons in Chicago, won’t officially hit the open market until July, so if the Bulls want to re-sign him, there’s time to change the player’s mind. Chicago reportedly wants to retain Noah, with an April report indicating that the team may favor keeping Noah on a short-term deal rather than making a strong effort to re-sign Pau Gasol.

Noah underwent surgery on his separated left shoulder back in January, and while he should be ready to go for the 2016/17 campaign, he hasn’t played a game since that procedure. In 2015/16, he appeared in just 29 games, averaging 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 21.9 minutes per contest. The center also brings with him a number of intangibles that don’t show up in the box score on a nightly basis, which increases his overall value, but age and injury concerns may hamper Noah in landing a long-term deal this summer.

This brings me to the topic for today: Where will Joakim Noah be playing next season?

Will Noah be wearing a Bulls jersey in 2016/17 or do you see him heading elsewhere? What team is the best fit for the big man and what sort of contract will he land this offseason. Take to the comments section to share your thoughts, opinions and predictions on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.

Joakim Noah Preparing To Leave Bulls?

2:26pm: If Noah has been talking about his desire to leave the Bulls, he hasn’t been doing so with agent Bill Duffy, according to Duffy himself, who tells K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter links) that his client has “great respect” for the city of Chicago, Bulls fans, and the organization. “Joakim and I speak on a daily basis about his future,” Duffy said. “There has been zero indication he doesn’t wish to return to Bulls.”

12:42pm: Longtime Bull Joakim Noah is eligible for free agency this summer, and one Bulls player tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that Noah has been telling teammates in recent weeks that he’s done with the organization once free agency begins, adding that he “has no trust in the front office getting this in the right direction.”

Noah, who has spent all of his nine NBA seasons in Chicago, won’t officially hit free agency until July, so if the Bulls want to re-sign him, there’s time to mend fences before then — and it does sound like Chicago would like to bring him back. One April report from the Tribune indicated that the team may favor keeping Noah on a short-term deal rather than making a strong effort to re-sign Pau Gasol.

Still, according to Cowley, it appears that multiple Bulls players harbor a mistrust for general manager Gar Forman, with Noah chief among those players. The 31-year-old big man also didn’t always mesh with first-year head coach Fred Hoiberg, who removed Noah from the starting lineup early in the season and said the former Gator had volunteered to come off the bench, a claim Noah disputed.

Noah underwent surgery on his separated left shoulder back in January, and while he should be ready to go for the 2016/17 campaign, he hasn’t played a game since that procedure. In 2015/16, he appeared in just 29 games, averaging 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 21.9 minutes per contest.

Noah’s injury-shortened season may not have potential suitors clamoring to land him this offseason, and the Bulls hold his Bird rights, giving them plenty of flexibility to try to bring him back. But it sounds as if the former ninth overall pick intends to test the market and explore his options in July.

Central Notes: Blatt, Rose, Butler, McMillan

Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt plans to be on someone’s bench next season, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. After taking Cleveland to the NBA Finals last season, Blatt was fired in January with a 30-11 record. It’s a rare break for the 57-year-old, who has held coaching jobs around the world since 1993. “I’m going to coach next year,” Blatt said. “I’m not going to sit out. It’s not in my nature. I want to work. I’ll be back somewhere. Could be anywhere.” He added that he prefers a head coaching position overseas to working as an assistant in the NBA.

There’s more news from the Central Division:

  • It’s time for the Bulls to break up the Derrick RoseJimmy Butler backcourt, argues K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Johnson says their relationship has become “untenable” because both players consider themselves to be the team leader, both need the ball in their hands to be most effective and neither has the 3-point shooting skills to complement the other. Johnson believes Rose’s injury history would make him difficult to deal, even though he only has one season left on his contract at $21.3MM. Butler would probably bring a greater return, but it would signify a rebuilding process that Chicago may not be ready for. If they’re both back next season, Johnson suggests drafting a shooting guard, possibly Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, and moving Butler to small forward.
  • New Pacers coach Nate McMillan has to change his style to succeed in the modern NBA, former All-Star Gary Payton tells Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. Payton, who played for McMillan in Seattle, says the coach will need to drop his disciplinarian image. “[McMillan] can’t be that militant coach,” Payton said. “You see what happened with George Karl up in Sacramento. When you’ve got players and it happens like that, you’re going to be the odd man out. I don’t think ownership these days are taking the side of a coach unless you’re a [Gregg] Popovich or something like that, over these $15MM-$20MM players.”
  • The Bucks are weighing their options with the 36th and 38th picks in next month’s draft, writes Charles F. Gardner of The Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee concentrated on forwards on its first workout this week, which included Weber State’s Joel Bolomboy and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Shawn Long. Trading the picks to move into the first round is also an option. “Could we ever bundle those picks and move up?” said GM John Hammond. “Once again, not easy to do. Do we stay with both picks? Do we look at making one of those picks for a current roster spot and maybe another one with potentially an international player that could stay and continue to develop? We’ll see as it moves forward.”

Jimmy Butler Believes Bulls Plan To Keep Him

Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler reaffirmed his desire to remain with in Chicago and said that he will definitely be with the team next season, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com writes. “I love the city of Chicago. I’ve played here my entire career,” Butler said. “Let’s not get that misunderstood. I love the guys that we have on the roster. We continue to bring in high-character guys. I’m learning with [Fred] Hoiberg. I’m not perfect, I’ll tell you that. But I’m ready. I think I have to be able to help this team win games, though, that’s for sure.

Thon Maker To Work Out For Bulls

  • Thon Maker had been scheduled to take part in Indiana’s workout on Wednesday, but he won’t participate due to a scheduling issue, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Zagoria suggests that Maker will still work out for the Pacers and Bulls at some point.

Central Notes: Thibodeau, Pacers, Jackson

Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said it was painful to watch the team struggle to a non-playoff season, according to Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago. Now president and coach of the Timberwolves, Thibodeau discussed the Bulls as he returned to Chicago for this week’s draft combine. “I think Derrick [Rose] after the first couple months, played very well and it was great to see him healthy,” Thibodeau said. “He went through four years that were difficult. I think Jimmy [Butler] continues to improve and get better. Pau [Gasol] was terrific. Doug McDermott had a terrific season and Niko [Mirotic] was inconsistent but he finished strong. There were a lot of pluses and one or two games go a different way and if Joakim [Noah] doesn’t get hurt, this is a terrific team. They need their health. For me, just looking from afar, that’s the biggest thing for this team.” Thibodeau also supported the coach who took his place, Fred Hoiberg, and said he expects the Bulls to become contenders again next season.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pacers will hold a workout on Tuesday for Indiana small forward Troy Williams, Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, Oklahoma point guard Isaiah Cousins and others, tweets Jeff Rabjohns of Basketball Times. High schooler Thon Maker will work out for the Pacers on Wednesday, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
  • Maryland power forward Robert Carter Jr. had an interview with the Pacers at the draft combine, tweets Scott Agness of VigilantSports.
  • The Bucks will likely be looking for backcourt help in next month’s draft, according to Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee enters Tuesday’s draft lottery with the No. 10 pick, along with second-rounders at No. 36 and No. 38. GM John Hammond insists the team will employ the “best-player-available” strategy, but Gardner says it’s obvious the Bucks need better guard play. One possibility could be Notre Dame junior point guard Demetrius Jackson, who interviewed with Milwaukee during the draft combine. “[Bucks coach] Jason Kidd is awesome,” Jackson said. “I do my research before I go in there. I’m naming off some of his accomplishments — nine-time all-NBA defender. At the next level I really want to be an elite NBA defender. It’s cool to meet some of these people you see on TV.”

Latest From Draft Combine

  • Jackson is also scheduled to sit down with representatives from the Bulls this weekend, with the player adding that he believes Chicago will look to select a guard in the first round this June, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago tweets.

Draft Combine Update: Friday Morning

Skal Labissiere‘s impressive private workout on Wednesday didn’t quite measure up to the hype, contends Chad Ford of ESPN.com in an Insider-only piece, who pegs the draft range for the Kentucky big man as No. 9 to No. 20. The Suns and Kings are among the teams Labissiere has interviewed with at the combine, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, echoing previous reports about interviews with Philadelphia and New Orleans. Ford’s sources remain solidly in the camp of Ben Simmons over Brandon Ingram for the top overall pick, while it appears it’s a battle between Jamal Murray and Kris Dunn for the No. 3 pick, Ford hears. Still, no one had a more impressive combine showing Thursday than Cheick Diallo, a high second-round prospect, according to Ford. Both his strengths and weaknesses were on display, as Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress detail. The Kansas center/forward says he’ll probably remain in the draft, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv details, adding the Warriors, Mavericks, Nets, Sixers, Knicks and Raptors to the list of teams he’s interviewing with at the combine.

See more updates as the combine continues:

  • The Lakers interviewed Ingram, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
  • The Bulls, Hawks, Kings, Spurs and Rockets are among the teams interviewing Cal swingman Jaylen Brown, as he told reporters and as Basketball Insiders relays in a video. Also on the list are Boston and Minnesota, as we passed along earlier.
  • UNLV shooting guard Patrick McCaw listed the Raptors, Bucks, Hornets, Cavaliers and Heat, as well as a previously reported meeting with Boston, among his interviews, as Basketball Insiders relays in another video.
  • Wisconsin power forward Nigel Hayes will work out for the Suns, Celtics and Knicks, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link). Ford heard some negativity surrounding his performance Thursday.
  • The Pelicans, Knicks, Mavericks, Hornets and Lakers are the previously unreported teams on the interview list for Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, as J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic relays. Ford heard from NBA types down on Trimble’s showing Thursday.
  • Former Iona combo guard A.J. English met with the Pelicans and will do so with the Wizards and Nets, Zagoria tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • The Spurs, Warriors, Nuggets and Grizzlies are the previously unreported teams interviewing Seton Hall shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead, Zagoria relays (Twitter link). He’ll work out for the Sixers on Monday, the Pacers on Wednesday, the Celtics on May 20th and the Bulls on May 23rd, a source tells Zach Braziller of the New York Post (Twitter links). Boston, Indiana and Chicago are particularly interested in him, Braziller hears.

Central Notes: Bird, Swanigan, Whitehead, Dunn

Larry Bird hasn’t started his search to replace fired head coach Frank Vogel, relays Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. The Pacers‘ president of basketball operations, who spent several hours watching watching five-on-five competitions today at the draft combine, said he has not talked to agents for any prospective coaches. “I got a list of guys and I’m just putting it together,” Bird said. Vogel, who was fired last week, has talked to the Rockets about their open head coaching spot, but no formal interview has been scheduled. The Pacers, who hold the No. 20 pick in next month’s draft, have conducted interviews with several players and will start workouts next week.

There’s more news from the Central Division:

  • One of those players the Pacers interviewed is Purdue freshman power forward Caleb Swanigan, according to a tweet from Buckner. Swanigan says he will hold a predraft workout with Indiana.
  • Seton Hall sophomore point guard Isaiah Whitehead has interviewed with the Bulls and Pacers, tweets Zach Braziller of The New York Post.
  • The Pacers also talked to Indiana junior small forward Troy Williams, according to Nathan Baird of The Lafayette Journal & Courier (Twitter link).
  • The Bulls interviewed Providence sophomore point guard Kris Dunn, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Unless they get really lucky in the lottery, the Bulls would have to make a deal to rise into Dunn’s expected draft range. Chicago currently sits at pick No. 14.
  • Kentucky sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis told Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that he talked to the Pistons among nine team interviews (Twitter link).
  • Notre Dame junior point guard Demetrius Jackson also met with the Pistons today, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
  • The Pistons interviewed Florida State freshman shooting guard Malik Beasley, Beard tweets. Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy talked about toughness and what role Beasley might have in Detroit.
  • The Pistons also talked to Vanderbilt sophomore point guard Wade Baldwin, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). Baldwin had an interview with the Bucks as well, tweets Matt Velazquez of The Journal Sentinel.
  • Michigan State freshman big man Deyonta Davis also met with the Bucks, according to Beard (Twitter link).
  • Virginia senior shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon interviewed with the Bucks, tweets Charles F. Garnder of The Journal-Sentinel. “I’m 23; I’m one of the oldest guys in the draft,” Brogdon said. “So I hope I come off as mature and experienced.” (Twitter link).
  • The Bucks also met with Washington freshman power forward Marquese Chriss, Velazquez tweets. Coach Jason Kidd was in the meeting as the team asked Chriss to write down his “personal pillars.”

Draft Combine Updates: Thursday Afternoon

The NBA draft combine began Wednesday and kicks into high gear today. The players have been measured, with the the NBA releasing the results on its website, and drills and five-on-five action will take place for willing participants. The general rule is this: The more highly regarded the prospect, the fewer combine events in which he takes part. Cameron Payne was the only eventual 2015 lottery pick who did any basketball activity at last year’s combine, notes Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). Top-pick contender Ben Simmons is among those who are skipping the combine altogether, while lottery prospects Kris Dunn and Deyonta Davis will be limited participants, Givony and Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com report (Twitter links). Interviews with teams are a key part of the combine, as The Vertical’s Bobby Marks details, but teams don’t directly select the players they interview, as Marks explains.

Here’s more news on the draft:

  • Givony, writing for The Vertical, said the private workout Skal Labissiere had Wednesday was one of the best he’s ever seen. The big man from Kentucky also interviewed with the Sixers on Wednesday, a source told Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly (Twitter link).
  • Top-10 prospects Brandon Ingram, Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray are among those interviewing with the Celtics, reports Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald (Twitter link).
  • First-round prospect DeAndre’ Bembry will work out for the Sixers on Monday, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The small forward from St. Joseph’s met with the Nets on Wednesday, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link), and Bembry also interviewed with the Thunder, Wizards, Spurs, Pelicans and Knicks, Pompey adds (via Twitter).
  • St. Joseph’s power forward Isaiah Miles worked out for the Celtics this week and will do so for the Nets on May 19th, Pompey also reports. The Mavericks, Spurs, Rockets, Bucks and Knicks will also work him out, according to Pompey, who adds that he’ll interview with the Pacers and Wizards at the combine and previously interviewed with the Mavs, Spurs, Magic and Grizzlies at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a showcase for seniors.
  • The Nets are among the teams working out Kentucky combo guard Isaiah Briscoe, sources tell Evan Daniels of Scout.com (Twitter link), who also echoes previous reports of his workouts with three other teams.
  • Oklahoma senior shooting guard Isaiah Cousins will work out Tuesday for the Pacers, Zagoria tweets.
  • Oakland University point guard Kay Felder met Wednesday with the Suns, Pelicans, Jazz, Nuggets, Cavaliers, Celtics and Nets, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).
  • Evansville center Egidijus Mockevicius will work out for the Nets, Bulls and Pacers, reports Daniel Allar of the Courier & Press (Twitter links). The Nuggets, Cavaliers and Magic are also interested in scheduling workouts with him, Allar adds.

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