Bulls may not trade Noah, but can they sign him?

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Thumbnail image for noah_tired.jpgThe 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.