Something that I addressed more than once over the summer was the concern that Joakim Noah may be forced into a bench role this season. With uncertainty looming, it would have made sense for the Bulls to field offers on their center. Two games into the regular season, Chicago is likely regretting not doing so.
The Bulls are 2-0, so there’s no reason to panic, but Noah has had nothing to do with the early success. Not only has the former Gator been benched in favor of second year standout Nikola Mirotic, but he actually appears to be the fourth big on Chicago’s roster – Taj Gibson has played more minutes than Noah in both games thus far.
Joakim is yet to score a point in 35 minutes of action so far this season, the most glaring of his diminished statistical output. Also noticeable are his mere 7.5 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game, but we can probably chalk that up to his lack of minutes.
Noah is a good teammate, though. It’s unlikely he’ll do much more than take the “whatever is helping the team win” approach whenever addressing his new role. Noah is still a damn good NBA starting center, though, despite his limited scoring. His defensive intensity, and flexibility as a triple-double threat make him a very valuable piece.
Enter the Mark Cuban and the Mavericks.
Doesn’t Noah just kind of strike you as the type of player Cuban would love? Well, after missing out on DeAndre Jordan in frustrating fashion, targeting Noah could be a good way to ease the pain.
Frankly, I feel Noah should be playing much more, but if the Bulls are going to let Gasol and Gibson anchor their defense, so be it. Pachulia can fill in just fine as a fourth big for Chicago … he’s starting at center right now for the Mavs!
Both Pachulia and Felton (who I guess counts as just more D-Rose insurance at this point) played huge roles in Dallas’ big win over Phoenix, but let’s be real, that’s not going to last. The Bulls would see them both as role players and expiring contracts. But they could easily contribute at the level Noah has been thus far, and Chicago’s likely to lose him anyway as he’s in a contract season as well.
The kicker for the Bulls is Anderson. The No. 21 overall pick in this past draft is exactly what they need. Bobby Portis (their own draft pick) looks promising playing in both forward roles, but Anderson (a great shooter) can be that SF that Chicago has been continuously searching for.
For Dallas the deal is a no-brainer. Pachulia is replaced immediately by a much more productive player in Noah, who would start alongside D-Will/Matthews/Parsons/Dirk. Now this team can actually make some noise like they planned on doing with Jordan.
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