The Bulls were debating whether to commit to Joakim Noah for the long-term or cash him in for the Melo sweepstakes for a while. That time is over. Multiple sources including KC Johnson report that the Bulls have inked Noah to a 5-year, $60 million extension to keep him as the franchise center.
The extension of Noah puts an end to the trade talks regarding Melo, and comes after Carlos Boozer announced he broke his hand in a fall in his home, putting him out eight weeks. So a good news bad news kind of day. Bulls fans were emphatic about keeping Noah, a favorite for his fiery play and personality, as well as the fact that good centers in this league are hard to find. Noah has enough youth and upside to make this a smart move, even if it stretches the limits of what he’s worth, as an offensively limited player.
Truth is, his offense has even shown signs of improvement, as his mid-range jumper surprisingly developed into being a legitimate weapon last season. With the Bulls having locked him in long-term, it’s another sign that alongside Derrick Rose, the Bulls have a foundation for the future established to put them back into contention for the long haul, even without Dwyane Wade or LeBron James.