DEERFIELD, Ill. -- The Chicago Bulls are going to have a lot of money to spend on free agents this summer and they are trying to use any playoff success as a recruiting tool to land some of the NBA's biggest superstars. That's why the team is even more energized by the fact that they have hung tough with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
"It's not a lie. We're one of the teams with that money, but we're also the team that has the pieces to do something special," Bulls center Joakim Noah said during the first episode of "The Jo Show" on ESPNChicago.com Saturday afternoon. "That's something that one of those free agents is interested in and it's going to be interesting to see who is."
Noah has confidence that the Bulls' nucleus will be able to attract one of the big names this summer.
"A young team with a lot of young talent, a lot of potential," he said, describing the Bulls. "I think that we're on the rise. Everybody knows that we're going to have a lot of money this summer. We're trying to get a big boy in here. The goal is to win a championship here. I think people understand that."
Obviously, the biggest name on the market is Cavaliers star LeBron James, but Noah has said in recent weeks that he didn't want to discuss the possibility of playing with the reigning MVP until after the season. He reiterated that on Saturday, deflecting a question as to if James was comparable to any other player he's faced during his career.
"I'll answer that question when the series is over," Noah said. "I don't want it to be like a whole 'LeBronFest' just giving him all this love, while we're battling every day. Obviously, everybody knows that he's pretty good. I have a lot of respect for his game. But I'm trying to beat him."
That's really the only thing Noah is focused on at the present time.
"It's always about living in the moment," he said. "Like [Florida] Coach [Billy] Donovan taught me. It's something that I always repeat, but it's so true. I'm not focused on [the summer]. I'm not focused on the French National team or anything like that. My only focus right now is to beat Cleveland [in] Game 4."