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April 8, 2014 Updates

If you ever watched the elder Noah play tennis, you see where Joakim's passion comes from. Two summers ago, the son watched his father's 1983 French Open final victory against Mats Wilander. "I was just surprised. I saw so many similarities in the way he played tennis and the way I play basketball," Noah said. "He was very aggressive in his approach and the way he played, and played with a fire that you didn't see often. He got the crowd into it and pumped up." USA Today Sports

On the day the Bulls took their official team picture before practice, Brewer arrived in time to be captured for posterity. He signed a free-agent contract to return to the team where he averaged 6.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists as a critical rotation piece for a team that led the NBA in regular-season victories from 2010-12. "I'm very excited to be playing with (coach Tom Thibodeau)," Brewer said. "He's a tough coach. I play hard and try to hustle. That's the type of players he likes. I'm just happy to be back with some of my old teammates. "I never needed the ball a lot on offense and I try to play as hard as I can on defense. I feel like if I do that, I can help this team out." Chicago Tribune

April 7, 2014 Updates
April 6, 2014 Updates

The Bulls' plan to add at least Mike James and likely Ronnie Brewer and possibly a third player remains on track. These prorated veteran-minimum salaries have been factored into the Bulls' luxury-tax situation. Beyond the front-office ramifications, genuine happiness prevailed. "I'm so happy for him because he works way too hard not to be in the league," Taj Gibson said. "Being a rookie on this team is tough sometimes. You really have to be patient." Chicago Tribune

Beyond the well-liked rookie staying in the NBA, Murphy's cap number of $490,180 comes off the Bulls' books. That would keep the Bulls out of the luxury tax even if Joakim Noah makes first-team All-NBA and earns a $500,000 bonus. Even if other performance bonuses are met, the Bulls should be clear. As reported, if the Bulls are slightly north of the luxury-tax threshold, they have plans in place to avoid the repeater tax. Chicago Tribune

Quietly, if that’s possible for Joakim Noah, the Bulls center has put together a remarkable season and deserves some Most Valuable Player votes. He is averaging a career-best 12.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, and a whopping 5.2 assists, double his average from two seasons ago. Noah had played in no more than 66 games over the previous four years until this season, during which he has played in all 74 games. His versatility, strong defense, and an agitating style make him one of the league’s premier centers. Noah is not going to overwhelm opponents with offense but he flourishes in most facets of the game, prompting coach Tom Thibodeau to ponder his candidacy for league MVP honors. “It depends on how you define it,” the former Celtics assistant said. “What he’s meant to our team over the course of the season. We faced a lot of adversity. He helped lift the team up. And he’s improved, I think significantly, offensively. The defense has always been great, the rebounding. And it’s more than just the passing, it’s his scoring now, making quicker decisions — I think that’s helped us a lot. But the most important thing is just helping us win.” Boston Globe

April 5, 2014 Updates

Nikola Mirotic: I don't rule out staying with Real Madrid. I have a two-year contract and right now I'm comfortable here. This is home for me. Canal Plus

Bulls management remained quiet on the possibility of signing Ronnie Brewer and/or Mike James, but sources said the team will beef up its roster next week. After waiving rookie forward Erik Murphy, it's even possible the Bulls will add three prorated veteran minimum contracts to bring the roster to 15. James is a virtual certainty to return. Signing Brewer also is being considered as a way to reduce the workload of Jimmy Butler, whose 41.9 minutes per game in March was the NBA's most. Chicago Tribune

April 4, 2014 Updates

Bulls forward Taj Gibson hopes Brewer, 29, returns. “That’s my guy,” Gibson said. “He’s a big guard, can defend multiple positions. He’s athletic and he’s a leader. He has been in the league a long time and has been through a lot with us.” Chicago Tribune

Gasol, though, will have options. A poll of NBA executives on Gasol's future returned many of the same answers: Chicago. Cleveland. Charlotte, if the Bobcats believe a Gasol-Al Jefferson front line can stop anybody. Memphis, if Zach Randolph opts out. Even after a disappointing season -- and with the understanding that Gasol has never been a strap-a-team-on-his-back kind of player -- Gasol will be among the most sought after free agents on the market. SI.com

It doesn't matter to Noah whether you're an NBA All-Star, a future Hall of Famer, a street vendor, a beach bum, an art dealer or a witch doctor. It doesn't matter to him what color your skin is; he's biracial, though that's a term he wouldn't use. ("I don't like to categorize people," he said.) He plays basketball exactly that way. "He's different; he grew up different," teammate Carlos Boozer said. "He's a very free spirit and it works for him." CBSSports.com

His awkward, sideways-rotating, two-handed jump shot -- the "tornado," teammates call it -- goes in more often than it should; Noah's sweet spot is 16-24 feet from the left wing, where he's shooting 44 percent (29-for-66). He's leading the Bulls in rebounds per game (11.1) and blocks (1.5), but also in assists (5.2). Since Feb. 6, he's averaging 7.3 assists per game, as a 6-foot-11 center. His six games with 10 or more assists -- all since Feb. 6 -- are the most by an NBA center since Vlade Divac in 2003-04. CBSSports.com

A typical day? When he isn't immersed in basketball, it's a question of where on the globe Noah will be cavorting. He loves to travel, a result of his transcontinental upbringing. During the summer months, while drilling his footwork and working on his wacky jumper here at the Berto Center, Noah will tell Thibodeau that he's off to Hawaii for three weeks -- then show up right back here three days later to say, "Oh, I decided not to go." He visits Cameroon, where his grandfather -- former soccer player Zacharie Noah -- still lives. He feels at home in the easy, breezy bohemian enclave of Venice Beach, Calif., where he can kick back and breathe in the salty air, ocean views and contrasting opinions. CBSSports.com

April 3, 2014 Updates
THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN BULLS HISTORY
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Very few doubts with the Top 2, but who comes after Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?

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