When Chicago was a powerhouse in the East not too long ago, Joakim Noah was a major part of their offensive attack and suffocating defense. With free agency looming, Noah reportedly said to a fellow teammate that he would be leaving the organization this summer, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago-Sun Times.
The anonymous source cited a lot of distrust between the players and front office. Moreover, it appears the team doesn’t think that the executives will make the right decision to better the team. Bill Duffy, Noah’s agent, however, has said that the 31-year-old big man hasn’t indicated to him that he wants to leave. Duffy told the Chicago Tribune that “Joakim and I speak on daily [sic] about his future. There has been zero indication he doesn’t wish to return to Bulls.” He continued by saying that Noah “has great respect for the city, the fans and the organization.”
Joakim is coming off his worst year as a pro, but being limited to just 29 games, and the arrival of Pau Gasol, didn’t help. He underwent a shoulder procedure, effectively ending a season that saw him start just two games and put up career-low numbers. At the time of the surgery, he was averaging just 21.9 minutes per game, 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists.
Noah’s patience with the team might be waning thin, despite reports of the Bulls making him “a high priority this summer.”
The good news for prospective teams is that Noah can still be a valuable asset. Outside of being relentless defensively and on the glass, he’s an underrated passer along with being an emotional leader.