The Clippers were slated to work out center Joakim Noah ahead of training camp, attempting to fill the final spot on their roster, which stands at 14 players. But two NBA sources told Heavy.com on Wednesday that Noah will not work out for the team this week and that any workout will be postponed.
Noah, who is 34 and has been in the NBA 12 seasons, is a free agent who averaged 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 42 games with Memphis last season, averaging just 16.5 minutes. In his final 16 games with the Grizzlies, he averaged 11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists, shooting 57.4 percent from the field.
He’s been trying to find a contract with a contender and was under consideration for a spot with the Lakers before the team turned to Dwight Howard.
Noah is trying to resurrect the tail end of his career after the last four seasons were ruined by injury. In three seasons before his revival with the Grizzlies, Noah played just 82 games in three years, sidelined by a drug suspension, a knee surgery and a shoulder surgery.
He signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Knicks in 2016, but was bought out by New York after two seasons and 53 games.
Clippers Have Been Looking for a Veteran Center
The Clippers enter the season a favorite to win the NBA championship after their splashy signing of Kawhi Leonard and accompanying trade for Paul George this summer.
The coaches are excited about the depth on the roster, especially the mix of veterans and young players. Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are key returning veterans who have been around the team for a while, while youngsters Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac are with the team again after being acquired in trades last season.
JaMychal Green, another player acquired last year, and Moe Harkless are solid role players at forward spots off the bench and there are high expectations for second-year player Jerome Robinson, a lottery pick in 2018, and rookies Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann.
But the one spot that is not packed with depth and experience is center. Harrell has come off the bench in 232 of the 255 games he’s played in his career. Zubac is only 22 and has never played more than 59 games in a season. The two have 17 total games of playoff experience.
Noah has 60 games of playoff experience and that would have been a valuable addition to the roster. But it’s not happening—for now, at least.