Joakim Noah could soon be joining an NBA contender.
Not long after accidentally reporting that Joakim Noah was facing a career-ending injury, Brian Windhorst of ESPN quickly corrected his mistake and instead reported that the 34-year-old forward is looking to make an NBA comeback — and is looking to join a championship contender.
Noah isn’t that long removed from being on an NBA team. The former Defensive Player of the Year spent part of last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, appearing in 42 games while averaging 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16.5 minutes per game. In fact, it was a really productive stint for the veteran forward.
Lakers and Clippers Previously Showed Interest in Joakim Noah
“The 34-year-old has remained unsigned in 2019-20 but has a $6.4 million cap hit for this season and the next two years after being waived by the New York Knicks using the stretch provision.
He was under consideration for a bench spot for both the Lakers (per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski) and Clippers (per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium) before the start of this year, but neither team added him to the roster.”
Clippers Cancelled Their Workout With Noah
As Sean Deveney of Heavy reported back in September, the Clippers cancelled their previously scheduled workout with Noah.
“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.”
The former University of Florida product had a productive career with the Chicago Bulls, spending the first nine years of his career in Chicago. Not only did he win Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, he was a two-time All-Star and a former First-Team All-NBA selection.
However, he’s fallen on hard times ever since his disastrous stint with the New York Knicks. The veteran forward signed a lucrative four-year, $72 million deal with his hometown team prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.
With that said, injuries and just bad play led to Noah becoming one of the biggest signing busts in recent memory. Noah appeared in just 53 games in two seasons with the Knicks before he was released with the team using the stretch provision.
It’s unclear at this moment which teams would actually have interest in Noah. Both the Lakers and Clippers are humming along just fine at the beginning of the season.
When you factor in that Noah has been fragile over the last few seasons — he hasn’t played in more than 50 games since the 2014-15 season — it certainly scares away teams from signing Noah at this stage of the season.
However, if you fast forward towards the midway point of the year or even around the All-Star break in February, that’s when Noah becomes a realistic option for teams. The veteran forward has a plethora of playoff experience having started 60 postseason games in seven different seasons with the Bulls.