Central Notes: Noah, Tellem, LeBron, Harris

Joakim Noah set the record straight Friday, telling reporters that he didn’t ask Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg to remove him from the starting lineup. Hoiberg indicated in an interview with Grantland’s Zach Lowe that Noah had done so, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune relay (Twitter links).

“I never said I want to come off the bench,” Noah said. “I said I will do what’s best for the team.”

The coach didn’t directly say that Noah had requested the move, though that was the interpretation that Lowe took from the remark (Twitter link). In any case, Noah, a 2016 free agent, obviously would prefer to start, but in spite of the benching and Hoiberg’s comment, he isn’t upset with the coach, Johnson notes (All Twitter links). “The truth is I think I’m more effective playing the 5. And Pau [Gasol] is the same. And we have two very good 4s. So this makes sense,” Noah also said. See more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons owner Tom Gores continues to enthusiastically support coach/executive Stan Van Gundy, and he also suggested that owners around the league regard the addition of former agent Arn Tellem as a coup, citing comments his fellow owners made to him, notes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Tellem became vice chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Pistons, over the offseason. “Most of the owners were wondering, how the heck did we get Arn? He lives in great weather, he’s probably the most renowned NBA agent ever, he knows everybody in basketball – and we convinced him to come to Detroit,” Gores said. “That was the good secret in the room. ‘How the hell did you do that, Tom?”
  • The upgrades the Cavs made to their bench during the offseason stand to give LeBron James a better chance to rest, but he still expects to play in 82 games after appearing in only 69 last year, observes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net.
  • The Cavs appear to be questioning the potential of Joe Harris after an up-and-down preseason, Amico adds in the same piece. Harris has a fully guaranteed deal for this season, but next season’s salary is non-guaranteed.
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