Sports

Joakim Noah Should’ve Returned to the Bulls

Was it great to see Joakim Noah return to the Chicago Bulls on the heartfelt “Joakim Noah Night“? For Bulls fans across the country, it definitely was. However, considering the lack of depth in the frontcourt, the Bulls should’ve honestly signed the former MVP candidate as a veteran backup.

It all makes sense really. This Bulls team is constructed to be one of the more elite teams in the Eastern Conference. If they want to make a legitimate push in the playoffs, they need veterans. Joakim should’ve been considered. This isn’t because he’s a Chicago Bulls legend that will more than likely get his jersey retired. It’s much more than that. It’s his experience in the playoffs, his leadership, and his “do a bit of everything” type of game. Yes, his career was on its last legs. That cannot be argued, but you can’t sit there and say that he couldn’t have been a veteran backup at the end of the bench for this playoff-ready Bulls team.

Joakim possesses the fire that this Bulls team needs. MIKE DINOVO, USA TODAY SPORTS

All they need is someone to keep their big men on track. Nikola Vučević could use a former all-star in his ear to help him in certain situations. He’s a very good center in this league but with a new team, where he isn’t the star getting the ball at all times, he may need help on how to become the ultimate team player. He’s going to get less opportunities to post up because he’s going to be asked to clear the driving lanes for guys like Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. This season, he’ll have to focus on everything else in his game to become an all-around team player.

Who’s a better team player than Joakim?

He can easily be that guy that’s there to teach and communicate when Billy Donovan can’t. He can also help with the younger talent, like with fellow defensive center Tony Bradley and shooting guard prospect Ayo Dosunmu. Why couldn’t he have been the Udonis Haslem of the Bulls? He very easily could’ve been, but the positive is that you could also let him play a little bit too.

He didn’t have to have substantial minutes, but five to ten minutes a game wouldn’t have been completely unreasonable. Veteran presence is very valuable. Basketball fans know this. On top of that, Billy Donovan has even coached Noah at the University of Florida for two national titles! You’re telling me he couldn’t have used him?

He was two seasons removed from playing 42 games with the Grizzlies, with averages of 7 PPG and 5.7 RPG. He probably would’ve put up similar numbers had the Clippers actually put him in their rotation last season. Regardless, Joakim still had some gas left in the tank. It’s just a shame that has career had to end with a whimper, rather than going to war in the United Center for one more season.

Featured Image Credit: MIKE DINOVO, USA TODAY SPORTS.  Kamil Krzaczynski, USATSI.

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