Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah hasn't been putting up similar numbers as he did last season and while his stats have decreased the size of his wallet has grown.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Noah's five-year 60 million contract extension signed in October 2010 has put a dent in his performance.
He told the Tribune, "Sometimes you feel like because you're given so much money you're expected to do things. That's not the right mentality to have as a player.
"I have to play my game. I have to have fun out there. If I don't, I'm not the same player."
He hasn't really been the same player as of late. Last season he averaged 11.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. So far this season he's averaging 8.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Near the beginning of the season he had a four-game drought where he had just four rebounds but picked up the pace, averaging 6.7 points and 8.0 rebounds after 15 games.
"I knew as well as anyone how poorly I was playing," Noah told the Tribune. "And not only wasn't I playing well, but I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I wasn't playing loose out there. I was playing tight."
Noah went on to explain in the interview that he was just over-thinking on the court and insists that it has nothing to do with being out of shape and he knows he can improve.
"You always have to put yourself in question," he said. "But I'm feeling a lot more confident now."
Do you think Noah's game will improve in the future considering he's realized what the problem may be? What do you expect out of him this season?
On Saturday morning, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Jimmy Butler had been granted permission to avoid the Timberwolves media day, amidst the drama created by his trade demand:
The decision comes as no shock, as no one fully expected the Timberwolves to execute a Jimmy Butler trade in 24 hours.
It will take a while for this situation to come to a conclusion, as Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and Tom Thibodeau—already prepared to hold on to Butler following his trade demand—will surely look for the best trade offer that still gives them the ability to be playoff contenders.
Some NBA fans, like the ever-relevant Rob Perez, were not fans of Minnesota shutting down more drama before it could get started:
It is not yet known if Minnesota is actively engaging in trade discussions with any of the teams on Butler's preferred teams list (Clippers, Nets, Knicks).
If they have, there is a reasonable chance that a Butler trade can be done by early-October, giving the Timberwolves a chance to integrate their new piece(s) before their season opener in San Antonio.
It was announced on Saturday morning, that Omer Asik will be out indefinitely.
Asik had an arthritis flare up over the summer, and that is the key to his current diagnosis. The Bulls acquired Asik last season in the Nikola Mirotic trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
He has two years and north of $22 million left on his contract (including this current season).
The Bulls never expected Asik to play heavy minutes, and this injury puts his 2018-19 season in jeopardy,
This is Asik's second stint with the Bulls, as he played with Chicago in the first two seasons of his career.