Clippers to Sign Free Agent Center: Report

Joakim Noah Lakers

Getty Joakim Noah

A day after the Los Angeles Lakers signed veteran guard Dion Waiters for the remainder of the 2019/20 regular season. The Los Angeles Clippers made a move on Friday to bolster their already powerful frontcourt.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers are signing free-agent center Joakim Noah. The two-time All-Star is expected to join the team next week.

Since the Clippers have an open spot on their 15-man roster, they will not have to make a corresponding move to sign Noah.

Additionally, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Noah’s deal will begin as a 10-day contract. The NBA insider also mentioned in an earlier report on Friday that the former first-round pick was on the Denver Nuggets’ radar.

Surprisingly enough, this is not the first time that we’ve heard the veteran center connected to the Clippers.

Last month, Heavy’s Sean Deveney reported that Noah was scheduled to work out for the Clippers before training camp last season. However, he had a minor injury that forced his workout to be postponed.

Deveney also reported that Noah wanted to wait past the post-deadline buyout period to join a contender and has worked on his conditioning.

Noah’s Production Last Season

The last time we saw Noah play in an NBA game was last season with the Memphis Grizzlies. The former Florida Gator played in seven games with the New York Knicks during the 2017/18 season before taking a buyout.

From there, Noah joined the Grizzlies, averaging 7.1 points, and 5.7 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game (42 games). The 12-year veteran then went into free agency, where he reportedly had some interest from NBA teams looking for frontcourt depth.

However, he did not receive any lucrative NBA contract offers. Instead, the 34-year-old center was being recruited by the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL.

But that interest did not go far as Noah ended up having an impressive workout with the Lakers in August. Ultimately, Los Angeles signed Dwight Howard, who was also at the workout to replace injured center DeMarcus Cousins.

How Does Noah Fit in With the Clippers?

As previously alluded to, the Clippers strengthened their frontcourt with the signing of Noah. At first glance, one may wonder where does Noah fit and how many minutes will he get.

Currently, Los Angeles’ starting frontcourt is led by Ivica Zubac and Marcus Morris, who they got at the trade deadline from the Knicks.

This season, Zubac is averaging 8.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game. Morris, however, is 10.4 points per and shooting 30 percent from three-point range in 10 games with the Clippers.

In regards to their bench, Montrezl Harrell leads the way as the backup center, giving head coach Doc Rivers an energetic rim protector on both ends of the floor.

Harrell, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, is averaging a career-high 18.7 points and 7.1 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game. He essentially finishes the game for Los Angeles.

Furthermore, the only other center the Clippers have is rookie Mfiondu Kabengele, who has shuffled back and forth between Los Angeles and Agua Caliente (G-League affiliate) this season.

Therefore, Noah should be able to fill in as the third center, giving the Clippers at least 7-10 minutes off the bench, and being an extra rim protector.

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