Chicago Bulls Rumors
Veteran Bulls center Joakim Noah, his representatives and the Chicago front office continue to have a “positive dialogue” about a new contract amid a report that Noah has been telling teammates he’s ready to leave the franchise, a league source told ESPN.com on Wednesday. Those close to Noah, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, are still hopeful that he will be able to work out an agreement to stay in Chicago long term.
But Noah’s appreciation for being a one-franchise player is genuine, as is his love for the city in which his Noah’s Arc Foundation has done extensive work promoting nonviolence initiatives for youth. Duffy spoke in part to respond to a Sun-Times story stating Noah has told teammates he’s done with the Bulls. “He has great respect for the city, the fans and the organization,” Duffy said.
It also helps that some well-heeled and high-profile teams will be in need of a center who brings rim protection this summer. Boston GM Danny Ainge said that would be among the Celtics’ top targets, and Boston will be a team with interest in Biyombo. So will the Lakers, as they are known to be eagerly seeking a defensive big man to put with Julius Randle in the frontcourt. That won’t be all, of course. Chicago or Houston — attractive big markets — might well need a center this summer, and Biyombo would fit with a burgeoning young playoff team like Portland. What’s most critical is that the team landing Biyombo has the confidence in him to make him a starter. The money he will warrant will make him too expensive to bench.
KC Johnson: Bill Duffy, Joakim Noah’s agent: “Joakim and I speak on daily about his future. There has been zero indication he doesn’t wish to return to Bulls. Joakim has great respect for the city, the fans and the organization.”