Joakim Noah described the all-star game as weird, awkward, and fun. When asked what's awkward, he said "Just the locker room, it's not my favorite part". In other words, don't count on Noah to have recruited any stars to come to Chicago this summer. However, on the court? Unlike Luol Deng in past years, Joakim Noah actually fit in.
He looked a little awkward in his first stretch when he would rotate around and play defense. He was the piece out of sync with the rest of the floor, as no one else attempted to make a rotation which caused his quality defense to actually have a negative impact on the floor.
However, when it became a real game, when both teams started competing, a strange thing happened. Rather than getting token minutes, Joakim Noah played the entire fourth quarter, the only minutes where the game actually is competitive and means something. Another strange thing happened, he looked like he belonged.
Noah didn't take over the game, but he had six points, two assists, and a couple boards in the fourth. He rotated well on defense to help seal off the paint, and helped the East get an unexpected win.
While Noah may not have won friends and influenced people in the locker room, at least he looked like a legit star on the court. If Derrick Rose comes back healthy, the Bulls will still look like a team with an awfully good core to build from. Hopefully Carmelo Anthony took notice, even if the odds are slim.
NBA Trade deadline looming
With just three days to go until the NBA trade deadline, the Bulls are expected to make no moves. Chicago is just a shade under the luxury tax and can't afford to take on any additional money due to the possibility of Taj Gibson winning performance incentives for defensive player first/second team this summer.
With no room to maneuver financially, the Bulls would likely only add salary for a superstar player, and there's no real pending rumors that any are available. Chicago also doesn't need to dump any salary or make any other immediate moves. They're not going to give up future assets to improve this team for obvious reasons.
Perhaps they'd sell off some assets if someone wants to pay a hefty price, but it seems unlikely that anyone is going to offer good value for what the Bulls have right now, and Chicago won't sell at a discounted price simply for the sake of doing something.
In short, the Bulls have no pressing needs, so they'll only be involved in a deal if someone else has a pressing need they're willing to fill. Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy remain the only players on the team that I think have a real chance of being moved and only if some other team decides to give the Bulls a nice offer for one of them.
With Dunleavy's game falling off since the Luol Deng trade and Kirk Hinrich's constant injury situation as well as pedestrian play (that's being generous more times than not), I would find both players also unlikely to move.
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