Then later this afternoon, there were rumors that the trade was not Deng + Taj for Melo, but instead it was Deng and Noah for Melo, and I was no longer playing devil's advocate. I hated the thought of including Noah. Even if that's the only way to shed Deng's terrible contract, I don't want any part of giving up our young center. Especially not to make a one-sided upgrade at small forward. Substituting Melo for Deng + Noah might make us the worst defensive team in the league, even with Thibodeau coaching the Bulls. It seems like a bad idea no matter how you look at it.
But then I read this: Bulls offered Noah 60 million?
Per Alex Kennedy's twitter:The Chicago Bulls offered Joakim Noah a five-year, $60 million extension two weeks ago. Hard to believe that they're ready to move him now.
Well that's a sobering thought for anyone who thought Noah would come cheaply. That's more than I'd offer this season, it could be the max contract next season, and depending how the cap rules change that's not such a hot deal.
This is part of the reason I'm willing to part with Noah for Melo, even though I absolutely love him as a player, when his extension kicks in, he's going to be very highly played for a guy who's relatively limited offensively and isn't a shut down defender.
So if Noah was offered $60M, and presumably did not accept, he is clearly looking to be paid MORE THAN that on the open market. I love Noah, just read my season preview from last season:
I have never had a bigger swing on any athlete (except daily with BG for the last 2 years). I hated JoaNoah at Florida. I convinced myself to give him a chance when the Bulls drafted him. He started to grow on me, then last season I started to like him. A young, energetic center who can play D, grab boards and doesn't care about offensive stats ... what's not to like? Then came the Celtics series, and the steal. If it didn't happen before that, that was the moment when JoaNoah entered Bulls lore and became a true Bull in the eyes of Bulls fans. He went from being some guy we didn't really understand, to "our guy". And for all that, at some point he became the most un-tradeable Bull not named D-Rose.
But I love him slightly less at more than $12M per year. Actually, significantly less. I'm not saying that I want to make the trade of Deng/Noah for Melo, but it is worth considering. Paying Noah all that money (and owing Rose am extension at some point in the next 2 years) would really handcuff the Bulls. We would have a very solid core, but we would be locked in. And would it be enough to compete for a title?? If the choice is paying all that money for a top 10-12 CENTER, or paying it to a top 10-12 OVERALL TALENT in the NBA, I think the choice is harder than it originally seemed.
Let me know what you think in the comments: Should the Bulls really consider Deng + Noah for Melo?!