The Chicago Bulls have certainly pumped up Joakim Noah’s value. All summer they talked about him as part of the young core of reinvigorated Bulls franchise. Then they refuse to include him in a deal for Carmelo Anthony.
But part two of that is signing him to an extension.
Noah will play this season for $3.1 million, then the Bulls can sign him to an extension or keep him via a one-year qualifying offer ($4.3 million), after which he would be a free agent. The Bulls and Noah have been talking extension.
But that has not been going well. Multiple sources have said that, but Hoopsworld‘s Alex Kennedy put it best in a tweet:
The contract extension the Chicago Bulls offered Joakim Noah several weeks ago was actually a five-year, $57 million deal. Noah isn’t happy.
There’s plenty of time to reach a deal, not ideal to have hanging over the season but not a huge issue. But the Bulls have to reach a deal. They have committed down this path with Noah as their anchor and energy big man in the paint. He is not a max deal guy, but they are really going to have to cough it up for him. It’s the price of winning.
Just something to keep an eye on going forward.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.