Joakim Noah: Playing for France

Don’t worry. Joakim’s not pulling a Deron Williams on us. This is strictly a FIBA thing.

ESPNChicago’s Nick Freidell writes:

“Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah is scheduled to leave for France on Monday to begin preparation for a stint with Team France in the FIBA World Championship in Lithuania, according to a source close to the situation. Noah, who has dual U.S. and French citizenship, is expected to be overseas for the next two months as the NBA lockout carries on. France opens play in the FIBA World Championship on Aug. 31 against Latvia. The tournament runs through Sept. 18.”

I’m okay with Noah’s decision. For one, it’s a rare scrap of actual Bulls news in the Summer of the Lockout. More than that, I’m hoping it will help keep Jo sharp and maybe allow him to expand his skills.

Don’t forget: Luol Deng played for the British National Team last summer and went on to have what may have been his best all-around season for the Bulls.

20 Responses to Joakim Noah: Playing for France

  1. Brian July 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    i like this move for Noah. as stated, it gives him the chance to work on his game and get his rhythm back. it can be especially helpful in Noah re-developing confidence in his mid-range jumper. he had it before and shot it well, but after his thumb injury, it all but disappeared. any time he received a pass it looked like he was playing hot potato, trying to get the ball to someone else as quickly as possible.

    playing for France allows him to develop his skills in real, in-game action without having the spotlight directly on him. i think next year we’ll see the 14-12 Noah that we were expecting last season.

  2. Chicondo@hotmail.com'
    luvabullnj July 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Correction Matt. You meant to say “…keep Jo sharp and maybe allow him to expand his OFFENSIVE skills.” LOL.

    Oh man, thank you. That might not be cure for the summer Bball withdrawals, but at least it qualifies as temporary relief.

    Maybe you could write a “What If” blog about how well the “Blind Side” rookie is doing representing the Bulls summer league team.

  3. letsgobulls_24 July 12, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Agreed! Been dying to read a new post. Best wishes to Jo. I hope he can get that little jumper back that he had at the beginning of the season.

    I’m excited to see Jimmy Butler in action. It would be sweet of he could work his way into the rotation and (maybe) eventually take over the 2 spot.

  4. bodybagsteven@gmail.com'
    BFD July 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    About the Deron Williams crack….I for one am all for guys like D-Will playing overseas and I’m hoping for more guys to take the plunge. It will take that type of thing to happen for us to get an actual season of basketball this year.

  5. Chicondo@hotmail.com'
    luvabullnj July 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Agree with BFD. I’m hoping a few more stars will follow Deron Williams’ lead. Hopefully that will get the owners to come to the table with more reasonable offers. Not that I’m on the players’ side, but at least in this negotiation the players have showed a good faith effort and come up with reasonable proposals.
    As for the owners demanding huge pay cuts; I hope that’s just posturing for better negotiating leverage. I would like to see the owners demand either shorter contracts or at least shorter guarantees. There ought to be a way for owners to negate or renegotiate a contract like Eddie Curry’s or for that matter even Rashard Lewis. The NBA is full of players with huge contracts that don’t perform.
    One might argue that there are just as many or more players on the opposite end that produce at superstar level but are being paid very little on the rookie scale, i.e. the D-Rose’s and the Durant’s of the league. Perhaps the players can negotiate to reduce the number years on the rookie scale before players such as D-Rose, Durant, Westbrook, Griffin are allowed to sign max contracts.
    I believe the biggest hindrance to a team becoming a contender or remaining a contender are the guaranteed contracts the players get. Case in point, the Bulls are now saddled with Boozers’ contract for four more years and if he does not perform at an all-star level, the Bulls will not have a chance to win a championship. And because of Boozer’s long guaranteed contract, it will be very difficult to trade him at least until the final year. To a lesser degree I’m worried now about Noah’s contract as well. I felt he regressed this past season and he appears to have the same propensity for injuries that Loser Boozer has. Though Noah does play through injuries more than does Boozer.
    While I don’t want to see an NFL like contract structure where a team can simply cut a player and they don’t have to pay the remainder of the contract, I would like to see some recourse that teams and owners have to renegotiate bad contracts while at the same time the players having at least partial guarantees on the negotiated contracts.

  6. bodybagsteven@gmail.com'
    BFD July 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    It is super tough to come up with a system where the super-bad contracts can be eliminated while giving superstars big long contracts so they stay with the team that drafted them. I don’t think there is a way to make everybody happy in this regard.

    Having said that, let me post my radical idea for a new CBA that would keep people getting paid while eliminating bad deals and eliminating the ‘create a super-team’ craze. Feel free to poke holes in it, because lets face it…we are all bored and wishing for more basketball.

    —————————-

    Step 1 – Rate the Players

    Assemble a voting commission consisting of every current NBA coach and giving a ballot to one paper in every NBA market. This voting commission, with the caveat that the coach and paper cannot place votes for their team, is tasked with ranking from 1-14 the importance of each player on the team.

    After tabulating all of the votes, release a list of all the combined results with who voted for what (to prevent obvious collusion) so that we can all see what the consensus is of who is the best player per team and so on.

    Step 2 – Pay the Superstars, normalize the rest.

    Pay them as a result of these ratings. The top guy gets a max deal (15Mil), the second guy gets 12 million, third guy makes 8 million, players 4-8 make 5 million, players 9 through 12 make 1 million, and everybody else makes 400k.

    Every year, the amount of money you get will be up to your rating.

    These numbers can change but right now you have an elimination of bad contracts (unless you are the best on your team, in which case it isn’t a bad contract) and some protection against the super teams (you might get a second superstar to go to a team, but a third would always be taking a super pay cut)

    Step 3 – Incentivize the hell out of the contracts.

    For every year after the first one a player plays for the same team he makes 250k more capping at 1 million, unless he is one of the top 8, then the cap is 1.5 mill. If he is the 3rd best player, then the cap is 2 million, 2nd best is 2.5, and the best is 3 million. If at the beginning of the year, a player falls out (or a player ascends) then they would fall under the new cap limits while keeping their years worked.

    Every player that was in the playoffs last year, makes 250k for each round they made it through (Every Maverick, for example would make an extra million dollars for winning last year, and every Pacer would make 250k more).

    These incentives will reward players for staying with the same team, and for playing well towards the ultimate objective and tip the scales back away from having players go to bad teams just so they can make max money.

    And since being moved from team to team is now much more impactfull towards how much you will make, all players will now have a no trade clause in their contract.

    Step 4 – Flash Money

    All teams will have a pool of up to 15 million dollars which they can spend ANYWAY the like so long as it is given to the players. This money can be used to grease the wheels of any FA deal or trade a team wants to make. The only caveats are that you can’t give this money to other teams players and that you can’t promise any future pool money in any contract (that way, you can’t promise to give a Lebron 10 million next year and so on).

    This way, you can help keep the wheeling and dealing that is important in the game in the game. All the players wont immediately go running for only the best cities, and so on.

    Well that is my totally crazy and probably half-brained idea for the NBA. What do you think?

  7. W@aol.com'
    Bam! July 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    I’m sorry to say it, but I think we need to trade Noah for overall team improvement. We need more offense in the post, while keeping our defense and adding a 2 guard.

    Nene is a FA who will be making about the same amount as Npay next year. He has a clear offensive advantage over Noah, and every statistic shows that Nene also plays far better man to man defense and marginally better team defense than Joakim. Just think of how his defense would improve under Thibs, as well.

    The two best options for SG are Courtney Lee and OJ Mayo, OJ being the better of the two (sorry, but there is no way we can grab Afflalo). With Yao Ming leaving the Rockets, they will have tons of cap space and will want a legit center. Giving them Noah for Lee would be a no brainer on their favor. Might seem unfair for us, but remember: we are getting Nene.

    Another (better) possible scenario is based off the fact that OJ Mayo doesn’t get along very well with Grizzlies management, he was put on the trading block three times last season, and he is unhappy with his playing time. Grizz want a legit 2 guard with minimal ego. I propose a three team trade. Bulls send Noah to the Rockets and Bogans to the Grizz. Rockets send Lee to the Grizz. Grizz send OJ to Chicago. This could work, but the First scenario is more likely.

    As always, I add that Boozer should be benched. Nene would add enough offense to are starting C-Pf duo that starting Taj would not be risky, and his defense would make it harder for other teams to score. Omer Asik is a great rebounder and a gritty defender, but offensively challenged. Putting Boozer next to him would make up for lack of offense.

    Scenario 1:
    Pg: Rose / Watson
    SG: Lee / Brewer / Korver / Bogans
    C: Nene / Asik
    Pf: Taj / Boozer
    Sf: Deng / that rookie we drafted who looks like be has potential to back up Deng / Korver

    Scenario 2 (better of the two)
    Pg: Rose / Watson
    SG: Mayo / Brewer / Korver
    C: Nene / Asik
    Pf: Taj / Boozer
    Sf: Deng / that rookie we drafted who looks like be has potential to back up Deng / Korver

  8. W@aol.com'
    Bam! July 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I’m sorry to say it, but I think we need to trade Noah for overall team improvement. We need more offense in the post, while keeping our defense and adding a 2 guard..

    Nene is a FA who will be making about the same amount as Npay next year. He has a clear offensive advantage over Noah, and every statistic shows that Nene also plays far better man to man defense and marginally better team defense than Joakim. Just think of how his defense would improve under Thibs, as well.

    The two best options for SG are Courtney Lee and OJ Mayo, OJ being the better of the two (sorry, but there is no way we can grab Afflalo). With Yao Ming leaving the Rockets, they will have tons of cap space and will want a legit center. Giving them Noah for Lee would be a no brainer on their favor. Might seem unfair for us, but remember: we are getting Nene.

    Another (better) possible scenario is based off the fact that OJ Mayo doesn’t get along very well with Grizzlies management, he was put on the trading block three times last season, and he is unhappy with his playing time. Grizz want a legit 2 guard with minimal ego. I propose a three team trade. Bulls send Noah to the Rockets and Bogans to the Grizz. Rockets send Lee to the Grizz. Grizz send OJ to Chicago. This could work, but the First scenario is more likely.

    As always, I add that Boozer should be benched. Nene would add enough offense to are starting C-Pf duo that starting Taj would not be risky, and his defense would make it harder for other teams to score. Omer Asik is a great rebounder and a gritty defender, but offensively challenged. Putting Boozer next to him would make up for lack of offense.

    Scenario 1:
    Pg: Rose / Watson
    SG: Lee / Brewer / Korver / Bogans
    C: Nene / Asik
    Pf: Taj / Boozer
    Sf: Deng / that rookie we drafted who looks like be has potential to back up Deng / Korver

    Scenario 2 (better of the two)
    Pg: Rose / Watson
    SG: Mayo / Brewer / Korver
    C: Nene / Asik
    Pf: Taj / Boozer
    Sf: Deng / that rookie we drafted who looks like be has potential to back up Deng / Korver

  9. W@aol.com'
    Bam! July 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    I remembered the name of the rookie I was talking about before. Jimmy Butler.

  10. bodybagsteven@gmail.com'
    BFD July 13, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    I do not want us to trade Noah for Lee because there are absolutely no guarantees that Nene would sign here (or that he wasn’t playing well because he was in a contract year.) The Bulls, who would be over the cap pretty much no matter what, would have to get a handshake deal with Nene before or while trying to swing a massive 3 team deal with a sabermatrician and a GM who is both A)one of the worst GM’s out there and B)Doesn’t like us and is not willing to make a deal.

    Also, Noah for Nene isn’t exactly a good trade either. Noah averaged half a block and 3 rebounds a game more than Nene, and you can’t credit Thibs with that because he put up the same averages last year too.

    Besides there is NO REASON to trade Noah to Houston for Lee. If anything, we will trade Asik for him (speaking of centers who have no offense). They wanted Asik for him during the deadline, no reason to believe they would jack the price up on him like that.

  11. Inception July 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    would be nice to see Noah have a similar season to Deng’s past season….not get injured and put out consistent numbers….that’s all we’re asking….if Noah can’t do that, the trade talks become serious then….believe that.

  12. gorditadog@aol.com'
    gorditadogg July 14, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    I think 95% of the players in the NBA are fairly paid or underpaid. We tend to focus on the 20-30 players who are not earning their money- but if you think about it they are a small minority. On the Bulls, Rose is definitely underpaid, everyone else is paid within a fair range. You might say Boozer didn’t earn his money, but that was because of injury, not lack of effort.

  13. gorditadog@aol.com'
    gorditadogg July 14, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    There are very few players the Bulls could trade to upgrade their team. Noah may be tradable, but because of his salary I think his trade value will be less than his true value. The best players the Bulls have to trade are Gibson and Asik. I think we will need to deal one of them to get a quality SG.

  14. Brian July 14, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    the only reason to trade Noah would be to get Dwight Howard, and that isn’t happening. any other trade we make would be a losing proposition. Noah is Chicago’s defensive anchor, and he is still developing in so many areas. he’s their emotional leader, and brings intensity to the team for 35 mpg (when healthy). he rebounds, he’s a good passer, plays great defense, and is coming along with his post and mid-range game.

    the only reason to give up such a valuable commodity would be to get someone in return that is far and away better, i.e. Dwight Howard. quality big men, especially ones like Noah that are so multi-faceted, are a rarity in this league. shooting guards are a dime a dozen. you really wanna talk about trading a guy that was averaging 16 and 13 prior to injury? get out of here with that nonsense.

  15. Chicondo@hotmail.com'
    luvabullnj July 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    @Brian – Nice to have sane point of view. Noah, Deng, Taj, Asik, Brewer, and of course Rose, are the core we have to hang on to. I would also try to sign Thomas again as he was just terrific. The rest are trad-able assets. Boozer, Korver, Bogans, Watson, the Butlers and future draft picks for either a very good shooting guard or a better two way PF is a deal the Bulls have to pull off somehow. The Jazz have a plethora of big men (Jefferson, Millsap, Favors, Okur, Cantor) all signed as well as Elson, Fresenko and Kirilenko unsigned. They are likely to move either Millsap or Jefferson to reduce payroll. The Bulls have to try and pry one of the two loose from the Jazz even if it means involving additional teams.
    Oh and if we can get rid of Boozer in a trade somehow, that would be gravy.
    Maybe a sign and trade with Denver for Nene involving Boozer.

  16. gorditadog@aol.com'
    gorditadogg July 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Boozer for Nene is an interesting concept, although I really think that Boozer and Noah will both play a lot better for us next season. It’s hard to tell what the Nuggets plan to do, they have so many assets, so I hope our front office stays close to them.

  17. Brian July 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    definitely an interesting perspective, but if we were to trade Boozer for Nene, would that move Noah to power forward? otherwise, we might have a logjam with 3 guys playing center.

    and i definitely agree that Chicago needs a better two way player at the 4 than Boozer, but the Jazz don’t really feature anyone that is head and shoulders above what Boozer gives us. i’m still heavy on my Lee/Ellis for Boozer/Korver/Bogans/picks trade, even if others might not be. gets us a similar (and cheaper) power forward in return, while also netting us a shooting guard.

    seeing as how there aren’t very many tradeable options for Boozer’s contract, we need him to improve his defense, or we need Taj to improve his offense. either one works. haha.

  18. TBF July 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Why on earth would anyone want to trade Asik away? Did you see that guy against Miami? When he was in there, he was like a freakin’ wall. D-Wade and Lebron tried, over and over, to drive on him and got absolutely no place.

    This kid is going to be a Detroit Pistons-era Ben Wallace within a year, mark my words.

  19. Chicondo@hotmail.com'
    luvabullnj July 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Both Noah and Nene could play either position. They can be matched up according to the opponent. Nene has more bulk so he could take on the bulkier PF and Centers.

    I also like the Lee/Ellis for Boozer et. al., but just don’t think the Warriors would give up so much. But if the Bulls can pull it off by throwing in Jimmy B. (I have high hopes for this kid), I’d be ok with it.

    Though Lee is by no means an improvement over Boozer on defense. Golden State is light on bigs though and I would think they’d want at least one of Taj or Asik.

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