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Joakim Noah has likely played his last game in a Chicago Bulls uniform. The Bulls center was already befuddled by his role on the team, and hurting following a late-December shoulder strain, and now the team has announced that he’ll likely be out for the year following yet another shoulder injury:
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You’ll recall that the team once classified his May 2014 knee surgery as “minor,” calling it an arthroscopic procedure that would put the center out for two to three months, hoping to confuse the Chicago fandom into thinking that any “minor” procedure would leave a player out for eight to 12 weeks.
Noah hasn’t been the same since that “arthroscopic” surgery. The Bulls are usually not to be trusted when it comes to detailing injuries, and Joakim, a free agent starting on July 1, will probably never suit up again for the team unless the two sides decide to agree to a free agent deal this summer.
The 2014 Defensive Player of the Year started the year understandably smarting after new head coach Fred Hoiberg mislead media regarding Noah and the rookie coach coming to some mutually-assured deconstruction pertaining to his move to the bench. The Bulls center started out poorly, playing solid defense whilst acting as a millstone offensively, but still was on his best stretch of basketball when a shoulder tear knocked him out of the rotation in late December.
Joakim returned just in time to play for a Bulls team that lost two straight in his presence, following a six-game winning streak. He had an odd role in a lucky Bulls victory over the hopeless Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday prior to the injury on Friday night in a Chicago loss to Dallas. He’s missed 15 of 20 shots since his return to action, and is averaging 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a block in 22 minutes per game this year.
Noah’s five-year, $60 million contract expires this July. He turns 31 in late February.
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