Will the Bulls Ask Joakim Noah to Come Off the Bench?

Stepping into a contract year, there are rumblings in Chicago that Joakim Noah could be asked to come off the bench by new Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg.

Should a full, healthy roster ever materialize in the Windy City, Hoiberg will have to make some very difficult decisions.

Hoiberg reportedly wants to move Nikola Mirotic into the starting lineup, which could leave Noah on the outside looking in.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

Hoiberg started Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler at guard (Monday against the Charlotte Hornets), while Tony Snell surprisingly returned from a one-game absence due to a sprained left ankle to reclaim his starting spot. Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic rounded out the lineup. The Bulls have used three in six games. […] (Pau) Gasol and Noah have played together in only one exhibition, Wednesday’s loss to the Pistons. The jumbo lineup featuring Mirotic at small forward played so poorly that Hoiberg ditched it after halftime and shifted Mirotic to power forward and Noah to the bench.


The Tribune previously reported Hoiberg had internal discussions about starting Mirotic at power forward as far back as August. That was before Mike Dunleavy underwent back surgery that will sideline him well into November. […] So it’s conceivable Noah could hang on to a starting role with Mirotic at small forward until Dunleavy returns, although the one-game look didn’t offer much positive proof.


“Coach is going to have a lot of decisions to make in terms of matchups and things like that,” Noah said recently. “Whatever Coach does, I’m cool with it.”