Still want to trade Joakim Noah for Dwight Howard? First, it won't happen, which you can read about here. But today further proof comes out that Joakim Noah was not playing at 100 percent for the majority of the season.
He still managed to post a double-double, but was obviously bothered by his lingering ankle injury. As you know, Noah is going to play for the French national team this summer. There are some decent players from France, such as Tony Parker, but the French team certainly can't afford to turn away a talent like Joakim.
Reports are cropping up stating that the French team, desperately in need of talent, turned away Noah due to his injury. If the French team turns away one of their best players due to injury, it has to be serious. Yet, Noah played all season on it. And still managed to produce a double-double.
Another thing that people forget is that Noah is younger than Luol Deng. He has a future and can get better in the future. Before he originally was injured, Noah had some pop in his step, and the beginnings of a set of post moves.
It's only fair then that we as fans and the media evaluate Noah based on his play before he was injured. As it's certainly clear that Noah was severely limited, his play before the injury is the best indicator of how good of a player he was.
Before he was injured, Noah averaged 16 points and 14 rebounds a game. Those certainly are remarkable numbers for a center. Those numbers are what one of the top three centers in NBA would average. And he is capable of averaging that, as long as he isn't injured.
Since Noah can put numbers along with the best in the league, and his poor production has been proven to be because of injury, why trade him? He might be the second best center in the league while healthy, so sending him, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and more in exchange for the best center in the league just does not make sense.
**UPDATE** I wasn't really clear in what I was trying to say, based on your comments, so I though I would add a little extra to explain myself. Yes, I love Howard. I would trade Noah for Howard straight up in less than a second. Except, it would cost more. As Stan rightly commented, this trade would look something like this:
Bulls receive: Dwight Howard, terrible bench player to make salary work
Magic receive: Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Ronnie Brewer, two first round draft picks, cash, and Gar Forman's first born child.
So, Yes. I would trade Noah for Howard straight up. But since that won't ever happen, and the trade above is what the Magic will demand, no way will the Bulls do that trade. Stick with the above average center in Noah and keep the entire roster in the process.