Veteran big man Joakim Noah is “effectively” retiring as a player, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, the plan is for Noah to eventually retire as a Bull.
Noah, who turned 36 last Thursday, spent nine of his 13 seasons with the Bulls after being selected by the team with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft. His best seasons came in Chicago, where he was the anchor of the team’s frontcourt under head coach Tom Thibodeau, playing alongside Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Luol Deng.
Noah earned an All-Star berth, as well as a spot on the All-Defensive First Team, in both 2013 and 2014. He was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 2013/14 season and was a member of the All-NBA First Team that year as well. He also received an All-Defensive Second Team nod in 2011.
The former Florida Gator standout had a decorated college career before entering the NBA, winning back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007 under head coach Billy Donovan.
Following his stint with the Bulls, Noah signed a four-year, $72MM contract with the Knicks during 2016’s infamous free agency period. He appeared in just 53 total games across two seasons in New York before being waived and stretched — his annual $6.4MM cap hits remain on the Knicks’ books through 2021/22.
Noah also enjoyed brief stints with the Grizzlies in 2018/19 and Clippers in ’19/20. When Noah was waived by Los Angeles at the start of training camp in December, agent Bill Duffy said his client would likely end up retiring.
When Noah officially signs a ceremonial contract with Chicago to retire as a Bull, he’ll be following in the footsteps of his former teammate Deng, who did the same thing in 2019.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.