As you might suspect, center Joakim Noah was all smiles Monday as he talked about the five-year, $60 million he signed that morning.
"It's very exciting," Noah said following practice at the Berto Center. "I'm very happy that I'm gonna be here for a while. I feel like the Bulls definitely did me right, but I promise I'm gonna give 150 percent every time I'm out there.
"I understand that with a lot of money comes a lot of responsibility. I'm excited for the challenge."
The fact that the two sides were able to get a deal done four weeks before the deadline is a testament to each side's faith in each other.
"It's always very weird when negotiations are going on, but I feel like I understand there's a [new] CBA going on next year, the collective bargaining agreement, so not a lot of players from my class got contract extensions," Noah said. "I feel like they did it because they like me and I'm pretty happy about it."
Noah's deal, which works out to $12 million a year, is roughly $20 million below a maximum contract, but he doesn't feel as if he left money on the table.
"When people put numbers like that in front of you, it's very hard to say, 'No,'" Noah said. "You have to keep things in perspective a little bit. Some people are telling you, 'No, don't take it,' but at the end of the day, I think I made the right decision."