What to do with Joakim Noah?

Joakim Noah has really turned some heads this season.   He's now seen as a possible all-star center.   Personally, I don't think Noah ever has a legit shot of making the all-star team while Dwight Howard and Brook Lopez are in the conference, but his name is popular as a dark horse to throw into the conversation.

I remember trying to convince friends last season that Noah would become a top 10 center in the league, which I feel he has, when they tried to tell me the guy was worthless.   Now everyone loves Noah.   Maybe everyone loves Noah a bit too much.

I don't think the Bulls will trade Joakim Noah at the deadline now.   However, I think they should listen to offers for one simple reason.   It's easy to love Noah on a contract a bit over two million a year while he's playing well.   However, his trade value will never be higher.   See a funny thing happens in 6 to 18 months.   We need to extend his contract.   In discussions of his worth, I've already seen 10 million a year thrown around as his value.  

That doesn't mean the Bulls should trade him, but it means you have to look at it rationally.   We've seen a lot of good players in this sub-all-star level go through this team, get extended to big contracts they didn't live up to or leave for relatively little [often on big contracts they didn't live up to].  I love Noah, but see Nocioni, Gordon, Hinrich, Deng, Curry, Crawford, Chandler, etc..   

Still, once I look at the trade landscape, I can't imagine a trade for Noah where the Bulls come out ahead.   The one hint of a possibility is if Noah were traded to the Raptors in a package for Chris Bosh.   Noah would fit in marvelously with Andrea Bargnani and provide so much of what the Raptors need.   Outside of Bosh, it's hard to imagine any other trade piece working out for the Bulls and the other team, and honestly it's hard to imagine the Raptors trading Bosh.

So let's say we've opened ourselves to the possibility of trading Noah but realize we're not going to get something better than Noah + chance at 2010 star for Noah.   Now what?   Do you start extension talks with Noah this summer?

I guess you have to try to see where he's at, but this is interesting for several reasons.   First and foremost, what do you even set his worth at, and how much can his worth go up by playing another season?   Also, if you wait another season, you'll sign him for six years rather than five in the most likely scenario which means it might be better to get a deal done now.

It's also worth remembering that Noah's rather small for a center, and thus, he carries a much greater chance of having injury issues as he the wear and tear mounts on him over the seasons.    Locking him into a deal with one less year could have a large advantage if that becomes an issue down the road.

Finally, if you extend him this summer, he becomes almost untradeable next season as a poison pill provision contract guy, followed by the year of base year compensation player [which he'd have whether we extend him this summer or next summer].   This means, if you extend Noah this summer, you've ruled out trading him next season at the deadline.  Probably slim chance of that happening anyway though.

I think the Bulls and Noah will both want to start discussions this off-season, and I'll be interested to see where both teams come in.   If I'm the Bulls I probably agreed to a deal as large as 5/50 front loaded deal which has the maximum allowable declining salary.   The Bulls won't need the cap space at the front of this deal, because the new salary won't kick in until 2011.   Since we're under the cap this season, our next season's salary will be at the salary cap, and the team will only slowly build up towards the luxury tax again.   Get the big payments out of the way while their is extra room available. 

Does Noah leap at a 5/50 frontloaded deal?   Do the Bulls leap to offer one?    I'd probably start negotiations off with a 5/40 to 5/45 front loaded deal myself, but the Bulls MO has been "here's our best and only offer" in the early contract negotiations.   It's unlikely the Bulls try and start low and negotiate upwards.  

We'll have to wait and see what happens this summer with Noah.   He's been one of my favorites since before joining the team, and I defended him the entire time.   Soon I fear I'll be defending him from those who say he's overpaid, because it's a lot harder to like a guy after the big contract [Luol Deng says hi].

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  • I think with Noah at 10 mil or more, he deserves that contract. Noah is a top rebounding and defensive center that isnt going to change anytime soon.

    Another thing, where would you rank Noah in terms of centers for the Bulls int he last 10 years? He is easily the best guy without question.

    Centers have a long shelf life. He can always be traded later if he turns out not being at a high level. But his market is minimum 10 mil a year.

  • In reply to DASMACKDOWN:

    defensive? please people he isnt marcus camby..joakim isnt a joke..he plays hard..but 10 million for a great rebounder and above avg defender?..he better be both at a high level..joakim is a perfect trading piece for a star..and we seen it before and will see it again..why does joakim deserve a contract better than gordons? he doesnt defend the paint..the pick and rolls yeah..he plays hard yeah..but did raja bell get 10 million a year..did shane battier get 10 million a year..those guys were hands down great defenders..now if joakim wasnt a little girl in the low blocks than understandable..but 10 million to rebound the ball is the worst idea ever

  • Is this decision influenced by the end of the collective bargaining agreement? There may be a strike/lockout after next season and the CBA after that may further limit contract length. Maybe it makes sense to wait to ensure that you have the best deal for Noah

  • RUMOR-MILL:

    Andres Nocioni could be traded back to the Chicago Bulls for Tyrus Thomas. That's what ESPN is reporting this morning.

  • luol deng is a tad bit over paid. also, most fans dislike deng for his drop off/inability to play with rose/vinny. If the luol, who never missed a shot came back, i'd be estatic for having deng on the contract he's on. then i'd trade him for danny granger/carmelo. noah at ten million, if he keeps up this level of play(maybe a little better), wouldnt be a terrible contract.

  • Joakim Noah is a KEEPER.

    He's the kind of piece to the puzzle that helps win championships.

  • Derrick Roses jersey is the 3rd most popular jersey based on sales in the NBA. The only people ahead of him are Lebron, Kobe, and Dwight Howard. Wade is right behind him.

    Rose should be an All-Star if he's ahead of Wade and other Superstars in jersey sales.

  • I like Joakim. But I didn't always like him. IMO He did a lot of dumb stuff, and he let the team down with his sloppy personal habits. People coming into their own lives usually make mistakes, and have a crossroads of sorts to see how far they can end up getting on the right path. IMO Joakim is about as far forward as one can get right now. He's not just a "piece." He's a human being, and by all accounts a good one. I wouldn't trade him unless I can get a star Bosh, Wade etc. And then I'd be sorry to see him leave anyhow.

  • no i agree. luol and rose both need open lanes to play, and that's the reason i want to trade him. Either that, or if they developed a 3 pt shot, it'd be a nice thing.

    i guess, it's either deng or noah. If Noah get's 10, and likely will get 8-10. rose will get paid far more than he ought to get, we'll give him max money for the reason that he's hyped to be a max player rather than the really good player rose is. Can we keep deng?

    Deng's contract, noah's contract, rose's contract. that's our team. it's crap. most of our money will be tied up in slightly better than average to average players(noah and deng).

  • One thing I do not want back is Andres Nocioni.

  • I got that from the ESPN rumor section, but did see that on Hoopsworld under the Sacbee site. Bad wording on my part.

    Tyrus needs to go, but not for Nocioni.

  • Contracts don't determine how big of a piece someone is, their play does. Come on Doug, you should know that.

  • Noah? Keep him.

    I believe Noah serves one very important function on the Bull.

    Noah is living proof that a post-Jordan era Chicago Bull can develop from a sporadic, confused player into a consistent performer through his own hard work.

    The Chicago Tribune article during the weekend was great.

    Noah proves that a Chicago Bull can become a dominant force in his 3rd year as a pro. Others have come to the Bulls with more talent and have developed (Luol's physical comeback this year is commendable.)

    But I can't think of a better example of a recent Chicago Bull who has learned the game and learned what personal discipline is required to shape himself into a player others want.

    Here's hoping James Johnson learns the Noah lessons of becoming a pro. Other Bulls, who haven't learned how to become a pro, will be gone from the team next year.

  • The Bulls young core group is made up of Rose, Deng and Noah with Gibson trying to find his way into that mix. That being said, the Bulls really need to find a young SG that can contribute, at least on the same level as Gibson.

    A Shooing Guard would round off their YOUNG CORE quite nicely.

    THE BULLS YOUNG CORE:

    PG - Rose
    SG - ?
    SF - Deng
    PF - Gibson
    C - Noah

    As far as this season goes, if I were John Paxson and Gar Forman I would try really hard to trade for Nick Young, Terrence Williams or Wayne Ellington before the trade-deadline passes.

    Nick Young seems to be the forgotten man behind Randy Foye and Mike Miller in Washington. I would try to use Pargo, Johnson or Thomas in a two-way or three-way deal to get that kid.

    A young SG has to be a TOP PRIORITY for the Bulls at the deadline.

  • Noah's name in any trade should be a non-starter unless the Bulls are getting a quality center in return, and dumping a big (non-expiring) contract. I wouldn't even trade Noah in a package to aquire Chris Bosh. The Raptors are stuck in a position where they will most likely lose him for nothing. The Bulls shouldn't be looking to give the Raptors a major asset, just to see Bosh leave them high and dry. I'm not interested in having Bosh just to have him. I want the Bulls to have a legit shot at resigning him. A frontline without Noah (or a proven legit center) has no shot at attracting Chris Bosh. Bosh don't want to go to a team and have to do most (if not all) of the heavy lifting in the paint.

  • Doug, as always you are better informed than I am on the stats.

    Noah's per minute numbers may have been good his rookie year. He was injured in year 2.

    What remains impressive is that he worked out like a demon in the off-season and made himself into the pro that we see. I think Noah inspired himself when he stole the basketball from Paul Pierce, drove the court, and slammed the ball home.

    For me, Noah became a Chicago Bull on that play.

  • Bulls wouldnt do that for cap space reasons. That is the main reason we dealt him.

  • Doug first off I think Noah has a legit shot to be an all-star over Brooke Lopez for years to come. Look at Brooke this season he has struggled mightly and the nets have been putrid so even if he did play well coaches wouldnt vote him on because he is on a losing team. Nets will be horrid for years as they cant attract free agents to play in that swamp. After Dwight Noah can get many coaches votes. I dont think this year but next year for sure. You cant count on Bogut to get legit votes from coaches as they see he is always banged up.

  • also Noah is going to get paid by the bulls and most likely he will get bashed when he plays bad because of what he will be making but let me ask you this "who doesnt deserve what they make in this league besides some star players"?

  • Really, the example I hope that is learned from Noah is that if you put in the time in the offseason...work out, get bigger if necessary and generally work your butt off, you will see positive results. It always amazes me how shocked people are when a guy come into camp in shape or out of shape and how his performance is dictated by that. Look at the Cubs Geovanny Soto as another example of how important off season work outs can be. If nothing else, I was extremely happy Noah decided to dedicate himself to getting better...

  • Doug...

    I think Noah is not worth 5/50
    I would say he is more of a 4/35. He is an awesome player but not worth $10M a year

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