Bulls' Joakim Noah to sign extension
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The deal is worth $60 million plus additional bonuses, Dan Fegan, one of Noah's agents, told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.
"I'm pretty happy," Noah said Monday. "It's very exciting. I'm very happy that I'm going to be able to be here for a while. I feel like the Bulls definitely did me right.
"But I promise I'm going to give 150 percent every time I'm out there, and I understand with a lot of money comes a lot of responsibility. I'm excited for the challenge."
Noah admitted that a new CBA, and a potential lockout this summer, factored into his decision.
"It's always very weird when negotiations are going on," Noah said. "But I understand that there's a CBA going on next year, the collective bargaining agreement, so not a lot of players in my class got contract extensions, and I feel like [the Bulls] definitely did it because they like me and I'm pretty happy about it."
ESPNChicago.com reported in August that Noah and the Bulls have been working on a deal for a while. The 25-year-old center repeatedly stated that he wanted to stay in Chicago. Team executives privately expressed the same feelings, despite rumors swirling that Noah would be a centerpiece in a potential deal for Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony.
"Joakim is such an integral member of our team, and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement with him," Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement. "His presence, both on and off of the court, is immeasurable and we look forward to him to continue to improve and develop his game."
Noah came into his own last season, averaging 10.7 points and 11 rebounds per game in his third year. The Bulls expect him to become an All-Star this season and are convinced that he is fully recovered from the plantar fasciitis that plagued him throughout most of 2009-10.
"We're very happy for Joakim because Chicago was always his first choice," Fegan said.
The news of Noah's extension comes on the same day the Bulls announced Carlos Boozer would be out for eight weeks and would need surgery after breaking a bone in his right hand. With Boozer out, Noah will be asked to provide more offense in the post.
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.