2016 NBA Weekly: Joaquim Noah, Trade-a-Bull?

As the trade deadline approaches, rumors of Chicago Bulls’ center Joaquim Noah being moved is getting louder especially when he dislocated his shoulder last Friday in their home game loss against the Mavericks. He suffered the injury in the second quarter when he got tied up with Mavs’ center JaVale McGee. And it is said that he would be out for at least 4-6 months. My, it’s even his contract year, making it more likely for the Bulls to think of not renewing him.

Know what? Noah is not the reason for the Bulls’ failures. It’s more than about having too many big men on their roster — it’s about better utilizing the ‘forward’ positions, both SF and PF.

Recently, they’ve been experimenting on Gasol, Gibson and Mirotic on their starting lineup while having Noah, McDermott, Snell, Portis and Dunleavy (soon-to-be) coming off the bench. Is Mirotic an SF or a PF? They did actually use him as a ‘stretch 4’ where he and Gasol played well, so why did the Bulls abandon it? Obviously, Hoiberg has yet to realize that they lack ‘T’ to win — and tell ya, it’s more than just ‘teamwork’ we’re talking about here.

Joaquim Noah in his most recent injury
Joaquim Noah in his most recent injury

Use SF McDermott more as a starter, that would make them more potent right-of-the-bat. Okay, Mirotic and McDermott may lack defensive skills but they got Gasol (Noah and Gibson when Pau sits) to patrol the lanes and Butler (Snell when JB rests) to check the perimeter. Snell should be there to substitute Butler and not just come off as an SF.

Their 4 big ‘untoucha-bulls’ should be Gasol, Mirotic, Gibson and Noah. They need Noah! They say he’s their ‘energy’ guy so why even think of trading him? And while many sees ‘energy’ in Noah, I call it ‘toughness’. This is what champions need. Even one tough guy on its lineup. Notice? The Warriors got Green. The Spurs has West.

Okay, Portis is there as an insurance for the Bulls in case Pau Gasol leaves them in free agency, but if that’s their mentality then why not develop him now. Now. Let him play more and gain that confidence while Gasol is still around. Better yet, don’t let Gasol leave but train Portis while Pau is still productive. On the other hand, Dunleavy should start being McDermott’s substitute at the SF spot; if not, get another shooter in Dunleavy’s place. Like, how about giving Adam Morrison a chance? Or trade Dunleavy for the Pelicans’ Luke Babbitt? New Orleans is not really using Babbitt, anyway.

Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose against the Pistons

See, if the Bulls want to trade, then why not Derrick Rose? Yeah! While he has shown flashes of his old self since he came back, chances of Rose fully regaining his MVP-form is becoming lesser by the day. He just doesn’t have it anymore. This team is now clearly in Butler’s hands. They just need ‘real’ consistency and.. ‘toughness’! While Gibson and Butler are also tough, it’s basically with the injured Noah where you’d feel it most, that’s one reason why the Bulls are ‘losing’ many of their games.

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