According to Sam Smith of Bulls.com: “While the team learned that free agent power forward Carlos Boozer would be lost with a fractured right hand, league sources confirmed the Bulls have come to an agreement with Joakim Noah on a contract extension. Sources said the deal is for five years and is worth about $60 million. It would go into effect after this season. An announcement is expected this week.”
In last week’s post about Noah’s worth — remember, the Bulls had offered $57 million over five years while Joakim’s camp reportedly wanted $65-70 million — I was asked in the comments section what I felt Noah should be paid. I said: “Truth be told, I think the $57 million is probably a fair [market] price. However, clearly Noah doesn’t think so. Frankly, I don’t think $70 million is fair to the Bulls. $65 million would be pushing it. I think that somewhere between $60-62 million would be a fair compromise.”
So I’m pretty happy with the $60 million figure.
It was important for the Bulls to get this done. There really is no room for a contract distraction right now, especially with Boozer’s injury. Of course, fans still hoping the Bulls would pull of a trade for Carmelo Anthony might be a little bummed. As ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell pointed out, Noah’s new deal unofficially kills any possibility of a ‘Melo trade.
Of course, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. When this subject came up a couple weeks ago, I stated firmly that I believe Noah contributes more to winning than ‘Melo would — particularly when you consider how the Bulls are constructed — and so trading Noah and (most likely) Luol Deng for Anthony would be foolish. David Berri from The Wages of Wins Journal has the hard data (with charts!) to back that supposition up:
According to Berri: “The most productive players on the Bulls last season were Deng and Noah. Of the team’s 36.8 Wins Produced, 19.1 – or over half – can be linked to these two players. And Noah didn’t even play 2,000 minutes. Meanwhile, Anthony — as I noted last August (and many times before that, and also since then) — is overrated. Yes, he can score. But his scoring is primarily due to his willingness to take many shots. He is not a particularly efficient scorer. And he doesn’t help out much with any other facet of the game. Consequently, we should not be surprised that Melo only posted a 0.108 WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes].”
And they say intangibles can’t be tracked.
Anyway, with Boozer shelved for the next two months, Noah — already the foundation of Chicago’s defense — will become the team’s primary inside scorer. Now that his financial situation is squared away, I hope Joakim is ready to step up his game.