By all accounts, Joakim Noah is about to reunite with Derrick Rose and return to his hometown.
Multiple sources told The Washington Post that Noah would almost certainly be joining the New York Knicks after free agency began, with a salary expected to be about $18 million per year. Now, the news is official.
Noah, 31, averaged 4.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for the Chicago Bulls in 29 games last season before he had season-ending shoulder surgery in January. Both he and fellow big man Pau Gasol have been expected to leave ever since the season ended as part of Chicago’s roster makeover.
Noah will be reunited with Rose in New York, after the Bulls shipped the NBA’s most valuable player in 2011 to the Knicks last week for Robin Lopez, 2015 first-round pick Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon. Chicago is clearly shifting its focus to rebuilding around a younger roster led by all-star — and Olympian — Jimmy Butler, under Coach Fred Hoiberg.
Once the Knicks traded Lopez, their priorities shifted to landing a big man to play alongside Kristaps Porzingis, last year’s rookie sensation. It appears Noah will be their man.
More NBA free agency: