The Los Angeles Clippers officially announced the signing of veteran center Joakim Noah on Monday. Last week, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Noah signed a 10-day contract.
With the Clippers adding the two-time All-Star center into the fold, there are questions about what his role will be and when he might actually see playing time.
On Tuesday night, head coach Doc Rivers answered those questions after the team’s 131-107 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
“Joakim is here to be a backup for the other guys, so if he is activated and he is playing that’s probably a good sign, that means we’re probably up,” Rivers said to reporters (h/t Los Angeles Times).
Rivers also said that he had no idea if Noah would be active for Friday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. However, the veteran head coach is not worried as he knows what Noah brings to the table.
“Just a great veteran to have on the team. He’s been through the wars. He has the ability to give energy. He’s a phenomenal passer, great talker on defense.”
Noah’s Unconventional Road to the Clippers
The last time we saw Noah step foot on an NBA court was last season with the Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 16.5 minutes per game (42 games).
Noah made his way to the Grizzlies after being bought out by the New York Knicks in the 2017/18 season. But he did not re-sign with the Grizzlies and took his talents to NBA free agency.
However, Noah did not receive any lucrative NBA contract offers. Instead, he participated in a workout with Dwight Howard in August for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Even though Noah reportedly had an impressive showing, the Lakers ultimately signed Howard to replace an injured DeMarcus Cousins. In addition to the Lakers, the Clippers were scheduled to work out Noah just before training camp last season, per Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney.
But the workout was ultimately postponed due to a minor injury. During Tuesday night’s Clippers-Warriors broadcast, TNT’s Jared Greenberg explained that Noah suffered an Achilles injury.
“The Clippers had interest in signing Joakim Noah prior to the year. But in September, Noah was carrying one of those stainless steel ice rubs, and it cut him on the Achilles tendon. Fortunately, it didn’t rupture, but it did require a six-month rehab, which he has now worked his way back from.”
Nevertheless, it is good to see Noah healthy and receiving another opportunity. While he may not get a significant amount of playing, the former first-round pick should provide the Clippers with another viable rim protector.
Clippers Back in Action on Friday
As previously alluded to, the next time that the Clippers will play is on Friday night against the Nets, which begins a three-game homestand at the Staples Center.
While the Clippers are coming off a dominating win over the beleaguered Warriors. The Nets defeated the Lakers, 104-102, on Tuesday night. Spencer Dinwiddie led the way for the Nets with 23 points, while Caris Levert added 22 points.
The Nets will now take on the Warriors in San Francisco on Thursday night before coming back to the Staples Center.