The San Antonio Spurs are considered as very strong contenders in the Western Conference. Although they fell victim to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, their failure to face the Golden State Warriors before the 2016 NBA Finals did not diminish the star power in the Kawhi Leonard squad. Hence, stars like Kevin Durant and Hassan Whiteside remain interested in potentially signing with the San Antonio Spurs. In addition to the two free agency hotshots, reports are rife that Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls will be joining the Tim Duncan team next NBA season.
The Chicago Bulls are expected to lose the majority of its core players this NBA offseason. With the departure of Derrick Rose from the Jimmy Butler team and the former's entry to the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony, fans anticipate the exit of Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol as well. Immediately after their 2015-16 NBA season ended with the Chicago Bulls failing to make it to the playoffs, rumors have surfaced that the veteran stars want out of the group. Citing issues like the leadership of Jimmy Butler, coaching style of Fred Hoiberg and the lack of support from the front office, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol have both been pegged to get out of the team via free agency.
Apart from his skills in the hardwood court, Joakim Noah has been considered a good leader of the Chicago Bulls. In fact, one of the reasons the Jimmy Butler team reportedly failed to make it to the 2016 NBA playoffs is the absence of the French man to encourage his teammates. However, it looks like the Chicago Bulls will need to find another inspiring leader as Joakim Noah is rumored to be raring to get out of the team soon.
“Sources continued to reiterate that Noah has no interest in returning to the Bulls, and that position definitely didn’t improve with the news that good friend Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks on Wednesday,” revealed Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. He further noted, “[T]he big man was telling teammates at the facility that he no longer trusted the direction the front office was taking the team.”
Reports also reveal that Joakim Noah does not see money as the primary consideration in his next move. According to sources, the French man wants a fresh start with a team that cultivates a good basketball culture and locker room camaraderie. Needless to say, the San Antonio Spurs fit the bill.
With the years spent by Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker in the San Antonio Spurs, no or minimal reports of locker room drama had been disclosed. Morever, the stability of the NBA team, as demonstrated by the length of Gregg Popovich's tenure as head coach, is another good sign for Joakim Noah.
Apart from Noah, the San Antonio Spurs are also reportedly looking into signing Pau Gasol. With the Spanish veteran available in the free agent market, sources are claiming that he is looking closely at the Kawhi Leonard squad as his next destination. In addition to the winning culture of the San Antonio Spurs, experts believe that Gasol will fit in to the playbook of Popovich.
“An excellent passer, Gasol would join a team that focuses on sharing the basketball. Motion offense, ball-movement, and taking the best shot is the best description for the Spurs offense,” shared Ernest Shepard of the Inquistr. He added, “It helps that Gasol is an unselfish player. He will want his touches, most likely along the elbow, but the Spurs would have little difficulty appeasing him. The Spurs also occasionally run a pick and roll in the high post. That would allow Gasol the option to pass to a teammate cutting to the basket, or simply take the shot.”
What do you think? Should the San Antonio Spurs sign Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol? Will these Chicago Bulls stars help Kawhi Leonard, LaMArcus Aldridge and Danny Green dominate the Golden State Warriors in the next NBA season?