Loss of Joakim Noah Radically Alters Chicago Bulls’ Short- and Long-Term Plans

January 18th, 2016 by Sean Highkin Leave a reply »

CHICAGO—Well before it was made official Saturday evening, everybody in the Chicago Bulls locker room knew the news about Joakim Noah wouldn’t be good.

Noah exited Friday’s 83-77 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the second quarter after reinjuring his left shoulder, which had already sidelined him nine games earlier this season. The Bulls called the injury a dislocation that night, and on Saturday, they announced that Noah will undergo surgery and miss four to six months.

Noah’s season is over, and so, too, might be his nine-year run in Chicago.

He’s set to hit free agency this summer, and given his unhappiness this season with his reduced role in head coach Fred Hoiberg’s rotation, the writing has been on the wall for a while that a split is likely.

But that was something the Bulls and Noah would have addressed in July, ideally after one last playoff run with this core that’s been so dangerous on the rare occasions that everybody has been healthy.

"It kind of hits you in the heart seeing him on the bench, seeing him on that table like that,&rdqu ...

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