For years, the Chicago Bulls looked to be on the cusp of contending for a title as long as they could get Derrick Rose back to being himself. As they head into the summer of 2016, Rose has been sent to the New York Knicks and the Bulls may be losing the majority of their frontcourt. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times says the chances of unrestricted free agent Joakim Noah coming back to the Bulls seems highly unlikely.
While Bulls GM Gar Forman has given lip service of wanting to discuss re-signing Noah this summer, Cowley reports that's just him trying to win the press conference and not offering up a viable road toward keeping the former Defensive Player of the Year. Noah reportedly has no trust in the direction the front office has taken. Trading Rose away from the team probably just exacerbates that.
Noah wants to play for a winner and a place where he can both start and finish games. This past season under Fred Hoiberg, Noah saw his role change drastically from the Tom Thibodeau days. Noah only played in 29 games this season but in those games, he saw just to calls to the starting lineup. Hoiberg moved Noah to be a key reserve off the bench in the hopes of allowing the Bulls to have faster starts with their style of play. That didn't go well and eventually, injuries robbed the Bulls of making the playoffs.
He may not be the only big man the Bulls are going to lose. Pau Gasol doesn't seem likely to re-sign with the Bulls unless he decides to go with an overpay, which the Bulls would also have to want to offer. They may be looking to move Taj Gibson too. Forman oversaw the drafting of Gibson, but Cowley says the Bulls have talked to several teams about moving him and his $8.9 million deal for 2016-17.
If they do in fact send Gibson elsewhere, that would leave a frontcourt of Robin Lopez, Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis and Cristiano Felicio, and some serious money to spend.