Joakim Noah's year is likely over after the Bulls announced the big man will undergo surgery to stabilize the dislocated left shoulder he suffered Friday night.
Noah is expected to miss four to six months, the Bulls announced in a press release Saturday. Details of when Noah will have the surgery have not yet been determined.
Noah, 30, suffered the injury after getting tangled up with Mavericks center JaVale McGee. He grabbed his shoulder in obvious pain and immediately went to the Bulls' locker room. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game and left the United Center without speaking to the media.
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Noah previously missed nine games earlier in the year after suffering a left shoulder strain on Dec. 21 against the Brooklyn Nets.
Furthermore, this might be the end of Noah's career in Chicago. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and the Bulls' surplus of big men could mean the Bulls move on from Noah, who was drafted ninth overall by the team in 2007.
Noah was relegated to the bench for the first time since his rookie season under first-year head coach Fred Hoiberg. In 29 games he averaged 4.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game.
In his absence, the Bulls will rely heavily on Taj GIbson and promising rookie Bobby Portis on the second unit.
The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.
1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.
2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…
3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling.
On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.
The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?
Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.
Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: