"It's unbelievable, right?" Noah said. "I definitely worked very hard
in the last three years. I feel in my time in Chicago I've experienced a
lot of ups and downs. It's on me to keep improving every year."
Noah, 25, talked with his typically refreshing candor about how the
current collective bargaining agreement expiring after this season
affected his decision, which he didn't want lingering near the Nov. 1
deadline for extensions.
The extension takes effect after this season and keeps Noah, the ninth overall pick in 2007, with the Bulls through 2016.
"When people put numbers like that in front of you, it's very hard to
say no," Noah said. "You have to keep things in perspective. Some people
are telling you, 'No, don't take it.' But I feel I did the right
"I wanted to get it out of the way and focus on the
season. People tell you, 'Don't worry about it.' But that's easier said
than done. And I feel like the Bulls definitely did me right.
promise I'm going to give 150 percent every time I'm out there. I
understand this is a lot of money and responsibility. I'm excited for
"It's always very weird when negotiations are going on," Noah said. "I
understand there's a CBA going on next year so not a lot of players from
my (draft) class got extensions. They definitely did it because they
That's it, I'm going Mike North on you guys and taking full credit for the Joakim Noah extension. For those who forget, the only question I got to ask Noah at media day was how the new CBA would effect his negotiations.
He replied that the new CBA could go either way, and I noted to him that it is widely expected to take away a lot of money from the players making deals in the future much smaller and asked if it would effect his decision. He then paused and thought about it for a good 4-5 seconds and said "yes".
Okay, in reality, I'm sure our conversation had nothing to do with his signing, he has power agent Dan Fegan who obviously knows about the new CBA and would have certainly discussed it with Noah long before I did. The guys' not a power agent because he's a moron and neither is Joakim Noah, but hey, I can still pretend right?
In reality, it appears pretty straight forward that the breakthrough was the inclusions of incentives for Joakim to get more money if things go well. I'll be curious to find out (if we ever find out) what the incentives in
this contract are, but more importantly, it's great to hear Noah's
quotes after the contract, and to know that immediately following the signing he stayed late after practice to keep working on his game.
Now if you're wondering whether Joakim Noah is worth this contract, I will direct you here where Sham breaks this down better than I ever could giving you a great example of the deal of every center in the NBA and why they're either worth it or not.
I'd say the deal simply comes down to this. If Noah is reasonably healthy throughout the deal and his talent level stays the same or improves then I'd say the Bulls did just fine. If he's not healthy or if his skills/energy fade then it won't work out for us. It's really that simple. This isn't a case, in my opinion, where he needs to change and become much better.
A center who can lead the league in rebound rate, play at a break neck pace in transition, pass extremely well out of the post, handle the ball to take slow guys off the dribble or break the press, annoy the hell out of teams with his offensive rebounding, do an above average job protecting the rim from guard penetration, and cover virtually any guard in the NBA adequately on a switch doesn't need to improve to be worth 12 million.
Like Sham says, those who call him an energy player are implying Noah has a much lower skill level than he does. So congratulations again Joakim, you're happy to be here, and we're happy to have you.