Lakers’ Joakim Noah to play for Bulls on Wednesday

LAKES, Fla.

— The Los Angeles Lakers’ newest NBA free agent, Joakom Noah, will be making his debut with the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources said Noah will not play in the first game of the preseason because he’s not 100 percent, but will play the second game in Chicago.

He is expected to be the Lakers’ starting center, as the Bulls have been without the services of Pau Gasol (knee) and Jimmy Butler (right knee).

The Lakers have lost seven straight games, and are currently without a winning record.

Chicago has been without a true point guard since Taj Gibson (knees) suffered a season-ending injury against Orlando.

Noah is expected have a role with Derrick Rose (calf) and Nikola Mirotic (right shoulder).

The Bulls are also without Derrick Rose and Pau Gasole.

Joakim will not wear a mask during the preseason.

He was scheduled to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but was told he could not play.

Sources told ESPNLos Angeles that Noah was also told that he could play in Chicago, but did not confirm that at the time.

The NBA released a statement on Wednesday night saying Noah was not permitted to practice during the pre-season and the NBA was working on a possible change.

Noah was in the Bulls’ starting lineup for a week before missing the preseason opener with a right knee sprain.

The Lakers lost their last three games, including the preseason finale, and lost the regular season series to the Timberwolves.