Because one aging, defensive-focused forward in the form of Kevin Garnett is not enough.
League sources tell Sporting News that Thibodeau has targeted Joakim Noah, who is an unrestricted free agent and has interest in leaving Chicago and re-joining Thibodeau. When they were together in Chicago, Noah developed and thrived under Thibodeau, finishing fourth in the MVP voting in 2013-14.
Besides offering tenacious defense and his gung-ho, team-first attitude, Noah fills the role of veteran leader. “I think when you see what happened in Chicago, the Bulls really missed Jo’s leadership this season, first and foremost,” Thibodeau said, referring to the Bulls’ failure to make the playoffs, as Noah had his season end in mid-January due to a shoulder injury.
This is about as surprising as an 8-year-old girl liking unicorns.
Noah has battled a variety of injuries for years and needs to have his minutes kept in check now (maybe he should come off the bench), but he still can provide defense and rebounds. His offensive game has fallen dramatically, but he can get a few points for a team.
There are two big questions for Noah. First, does he want to play for Thibodeau again? A lot of Bulls were burned out on Thibodeau’s grinding, hard-driven style by the end — at this stage of his career is that what Noah wants to subject himself to? Second, who pays him the most money? A number of teams will come calling, and there are some interesting potential fits — Dallas and Portland spring to mind — and Noah will have options.