Jan 11, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
The Bulls are a unique team that’s had a core group of players together for enough time under head coach Tom Thibodeau to where they all had bought in on the common goal of playing for each other.
That became more difficult in Chicago recently, after the Bulls made a trade that wasn’t meant to improve the club for this season, but rather to save some short-term money and put the team in a better situation for years in the future.
The concept apparently isn’t sitting well with Joakim Noah, who is in his seventh season with the Bulls and has played every one of them with Luol Deng as a teammate. Now that Deng has been dealt to Cleveland in exchange for nothing but salary savings and a future draft pick, Noah has avoided speaking to the media about it at all costs.
Another day, another media blow-off by Joakim Noah, who has not spoken publicly since the Bulls traded his friend and former teammate, Luol Deng, to Cleveland.
It was believed that he would address the media – all of four Chicago-based reporters – after the Bulls’ Friday morning shootaround at the Bradley Center. But Noah told a team official that he would remain mute.
It begs the question: Just how angry is Noah? And is his silent act hindering the Bulls in their effort to turn the page on the deal?
When guys on a team commit the way Thibodeau has gotten his players to in Chicago, it’s difficult for them to see things outside of their day-to-day world, and deal with the big picture reality instead.
The Bulls weren’t winning anything this season without Derrick Rose; the best-case scenario would have been a gutsy run similar to what last year’s squad put together, except the team as currently constructed doesn’t possess the same offensive weapons.
The only logical choice for the franchise was to move Deng, get under the luxury tax line for this season, avoid paying the devastating repeater tax in future years, and plan for the future. That’s a hard pill for a competitor like Noah to swallow, so if he is indeed having difficulty adjusting, it’s probably best to avoid reporters for now.