Joakim Noah is excited about his upcoming free agency

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Kevin Durant no doubt headlines the free agency class of 2016, but along with the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Hassan Whiteside and Mike Colney, a forgotten man is excited about the prospect about a new beginning.

Joakim Noah has been a cornerstone of the Chicago Bulls since he was drafted ninth overall back in 2007. The New York-born pivot was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and finished fourth in the MVP voting.

Just two years on and Noah has suffered a sharp decline in prominence. Under Tom Thibodeau, he was a vital cog in an explosive Bulls unit. When Fred Hoiberg assumed control last summer, that appeared to all change with the 31-year-old's minutes, and thus production, plummeted to career-lows.

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Of course, that is not the kind of season you want to have entering the most lucrative free agency of all time. However, general managers across the league won't need long memories to know how valuable Noah can be and should he get fully fit, he could be an asset to anyone.

The 6'11" center is very excited about the prospect of finding a new home in July and is clearly welcoming all offers.

"I'm very focused on free agency. I spent the last 10 years in Chicago, there were good moments and bad moments but now I have an incredible opportunity for a player, being recruited by a team, I definitely want to live that kind of experience," Noah told during an appearance in Treviso as part of the Adidas Eurocamp. "It's new for me but it's something very intriguing for a player."

Reports in the Windy City suggest that re-signing Noah remains a priority for Bulls front office, but speculation has also suggested that Noah has already told his teammates he will be leaving as he doesn't believe in the Chicago executives anymore.

These comments would certainly lend credence to the latter and Noah certainly seems like a man ready for new horizons.

"Playing time, man," Noah replied when asked what the biggest change was going from former coach Tom Thibodeau to Hoiberg. "I haven't played many minutes this season and that was a major change for me.

"It was difficult, there was a change of culture in the team and many things changed. Then I got hurt and the season was over for me. I was very disappointed, man. Definitely a bad season but you know, you need to go through adversity to become a better player."

Since his career-year in 2014, Noah has suffered knee and shoulder trouble that has restricted his impact. Whether any franchise will offer him around the $13.9 million he currently earns a season remains to be seen, but, if he can prove he can stay healthy, Noah certainly won't be short on offers.

Joakim Noah
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose
Jimmy Butler
Pau Gasol

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