Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 12/2/15

Joakim Noah has been gracious in his public remarks about his reduced role on the Bulls this season, but it’s nonetheless easy to tell that he’s frustrated and wants more playing time, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com observed after Noah’s comments to the media Tuesday. The season has been rough for the soon-to-be free agent, as new coach Fred Hoiberg benched him in favor of Nikola Mirotic, making Pau Gasol the team’s clear-cut first-string center. Hoiberg nearly reversed course before a game against the Sixers last month and planned to put Noah in at the tip instead of Mirotic, but Noah pulled up lame during warmups and didn’t play in the game at all.

Hoiberg has kept Noah on the bench since that night, and entering Wednesday’s game, he’s averaging 20.6 minutes per contest, the fewest of his career. Noah is only scoring 3.1 points a night, a number that seemed unfathomable two years ago, when he was the All-NBA First Team center.

It’s a nightmarish scenario for the Bill Strickland client who turns 31 in February and whose contract is up at season’s end. It also presents a tricky situation for the Bulls, since Gasol can opt out at the end of the season and hit free agency, too. Chicago, which entered the season with two marquee centers, could have zero by the end of July.

That leads to our question of the day: What should the Bulls do with Joakim Noah?

Shoehorning him into the starting lineup next to Gasol wouldn’t fit with Hoiberg’s offensive philosophy or with the league’s movement toward small ball. Trading Noah would present its own difficult circumstances, since his value is probably at an all-time low, and any team that trades for him is liable to see him walk away in free agency this coming summer. Noah has played with heart and has no doubt become an important figure in the Chicago locker room over the years, but the demotion has apparently placed a strain on him, and there’s no telling how much longer he’ll continue to affect a positive attitude. The Bulls could replace Gasol with Noah in the starting lineup, since Gasol’s numbers are off this season, too, but that might only create a similar set of problems.

So, what say you? What can the Bulls do to make the best of this situation? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.

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17 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 12/2/15

  1. Ace Gold

    Trade them both. Let Fred get some players that fit his scheme and get younger. Or trade for picks but that’s normally never the better thing to do unless it’s for cap space or a lottery pick. Either way if the Bulls think they have a shot in the east, which they don’t, then keep them both. If they wanna build around Jimmy Butler then make moves

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    • Chuck Myron

      Makes sense. Who do you think would be a better fit at center for the Bulls than Gasol or Noah?

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        • Chuck Myron

          He’s a power forward by trade, but he is 6’11”, so maybe you’re on to something there.

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  2. Honestly I wish the Bulls could get rid of Gasol right now for another wing player. Gasol doesn’t fit Hoiberg’s offense at all and has caused all sorts of problems when it comes to ball movement. That would move Noah back to starting with Mirotic, those two haven’t been on the court a lot together this year but last year I liked them as complimentary pieces. Then you have taj coming off the bench to play the 4 or 5 for small ball and I’m ready for some Bobby Portis time.

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    • Chuck Myron

      I think a lot of folks in Chicago are anxious for Bobby Portis time. He’s a really intriguing prospect. But, he’s still only a rookie.

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    • Trade Pau to Boston for Evan Turner. Boston needs a center and Turner and Butler together would strengthen the wing position. Portis would move to backup center behind Noah.

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  3. Couch Baller

    I would make Pau come off the bench. The firs unit clearly needs defense and energy, while Gasol could dominate opposing reserve big men and give the second unit a reliable scorer. Having Jo in the starting lineup would also mean you can start McBuckets instead of Snell since you have better interior defense. That lineup with Rose-Butler-McDermott-Niko-Jo could really run and have great spacing and still be able to defend at a high level. Can’t see why they don’t do it, maybe Pau would pout more than Jo does..

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    • Chuck Myron

      Pau can certainly get frustrated. He seemed perpetually so at the end of his tenure with the Lakers.

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    • Brandon

      Trade Noah and gibson(or some combination of our big men) and a 1sst round or 2 1st’s to Sacramento for the boogey (since he dont get along with the coach)and rudy gay, we now get versitle on offense and defense with jimmy and gay, mc buckets coming off bench with Portis and snell or dunleavy(personally nothing a big fan of his defense against jr smith in playoffs) and mirochic spreads floor for boogeyman, don’t know the possibilitys of a trade like this happening but I assume it will be hard with the big names, money, and contracts. But wishful thinking in my court

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  4. Dean Gant

    They’ve got to trade Noah. He doesn’t provide any offense & can’t stay healthy at this point. The Bulls are close to a total rebuild with Rose deteriorating and Gasol getting up there in age.

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    • Steve from Chicago

      They are halfway there already with butler mcbuckets niko and Portis why not trade for more youth, particularly (ahem) at point guard

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  5. formerlyz

    I would start Taj Gibson at the 4, and Gasol at the 5. Mirotic comes off the bench for Gasol, moving Gibson to the 5, and Noah comes off the bench for Gibson. Dunleavy being out hurts them on both ends of the floor on the wing. Therefore, they need guys that can give them some versatility in those positions. I would also think they could go to multiple guard lineups at times. I’d even consider starting the game that way, with Butler at the 3.

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    • Chuck Myron

      I agree with you about the Gasol-Gibson pair. Gibson deserves a chance with the starters.

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  6. Shane

    Pau has UNDENIABLY earned the starting spot for the Bulls. As much as I want him paired with Gibson off the bench, I cannot demote him to that bench role with the offense and defensive production he has had. No one came into this season thinking Pau would protect the rim as often as he has. The pick and pop plays he has with Rose works perfectly when Rose draws in the defense. Taking him out of a lineup with rose would reduce his effectiveness. In theory, I would want Pau to play the stretch 5 and have Gibson start but that won’t work given that Pau often struggles with in game threes. What I do think are realistic options is for the Bulls to try that Noah/Pau lineup…or continue to keep Mirotic as a starter but reduce his minutes by 10 for Noah to increase his own minutes in the frontcourt.

    My dream: Trading Niko and Gibson for Ryan Anderson (shot creator) and Quincy Pondexter (sf depth) ….. start Ryan with Noah…. Gibson and Pau in the back….. and Portis playing 10minutes a game. BINGO

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