Clippers Waive Joakim Noah; Retirement Likely

10:09 pm: The Clippers have officially announced in a press release that they’ve waived Noah.

8:35 pm: As was expected following news of Reggie Jackson‘s return earlier today, the Clippers will waive backup center Joakim Noah, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.

In a less expected development, Noah’s agent at BDA Sports, Bill Duffy, told Wojnarowski that the 6’11” center will likely retire rather than seek a basketball home elsewhere for 2020/21. Though the 35-year-old big man struggled during his lone Los Angeles season, he had a productive run as an energizing reserve with the Grizzlies the year prior.

“What an illustrious career for Joakim,” Duffy reflected. “It’s been my honor to represent Joakim through his journey.” 

Noah won two NCAA championships with the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2007, alongside future NBA pros Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Marreesse Speights, Chris Richard, and Taurean Green. Those legendary Florida squads were coached by new Bulls head coach Billy Donovan.

After being drafted by the Bulls with the ninth pick in the 2007 draft, Noah went on to make two All-Star teams and help lead a culture change in Chicago, transforming the team into an energetic, defensive-first behemoth.

Noah’s crowning individual accolade in the NBA was being named Defensive Player of the Year for the 2013/14 season. He also made the All-NBA First Team that season and finished with the fourth-most MVP votes that year (ahead of James Harden). During that standout season, Noah averaged 12.6 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.5 BPG, and 1.2 SPG across 80 games.

Overall, Noah was a three-time All-Defensive Team inclusion. Noah’s defensive moxie, stellar rebounding, terrific passing, and unique style and free throw form made him a local favorite during his Bulls tenure.

Noah signed a lucrative four-year, $72MM deal with his hometown Knicks during the free agency boom of 2016. The union was ultimately cut short ahead of the 2018/19 season, when New York opted to waive and stretch the rest of Noah’s deal. The club will be paying him $6.4MM during both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets.

The Bulls will likely consider honoring the unique big man in much the same way they paid tribute to his long-time teammate, former All-Star Bulls forward Luol Deng. Chicago inked a one-day contract with Deng in October 2019 so that he could officially retire as a Bull. Noah has certainly earned a similarly hallowed place in the hearts of Bulls fans to merit such a tribute.

Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets that this latest move means that the Clippers now have 13 guaranteed deals on their books, and currently find themselves a crucial $2.2MM below the league’s restrictive hard cap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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32 thoughts on “Clippers Waive Joakim Noah; Retirement Likely

    • xxtremecubsguy89

      How? Dude was great defensively in his prime, and was an amazing passer and point forward. If he could shoot he would’ve made even more than he did. After his horrid start to his career, he proved everyone wrong and killed it. Especially during his prime.

      • OrienGreene

        He had some very good years, he had some very bad years. He got waived by the Knicks when he still had 38M left on his contract. His career as a good player ended 5 years ago.

        Not trying to hate on the guy, he had good years in Chicago, but I wouldn’t say his career was “Illustrious”

        • baseballpun

          Well if you include his college years and consider his overall basketball career, it’s probably “illustrious.”

          • Curtisrowe

            That word obviously means more to me than it does others. semantics I suppose.

        • x%sure

          Knuck the Ficks, it’s about the Bulls and Gators. What happened in NY is irrelevant. Everyone winds down, not his fault he offered an overpay.

          Look up “illustrious”. It is not a generic intensifier; originally it meant glowing, never meant ranking. Noah qualifies. Getting that NY contract could even qualify for some observers. I would not go that far with calling it illustrious though; just a miss by the offerer.
          Being unstoppable in college, back to back, that’s something.

        • DrSeuss69

          being in the MVP discussion is an accomplishment itself..not many get to that level at all

        • Col. Sanders

          Looks like when he left Bulls his career died and he was like 31 at that time? Beside 2018-19 when he arrived as a good off bench guy for Grizzlies.

          And those late 2000s/early 2010s Bulls where so fun to watch. It’s nice how they honored Deng. Wonder if they do the same with Jo (and Rose in future)…

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      5 years from now Draymond will be just like Noah is now, if he’s lucky.

      • Col. Sanders

        Last year exposed him but he’s still got like 3 more rings and after 20 years people will remember those i guess…

      • Howie415

        What is your problem with Draymond? He’s won more Championships than Harden ever will. Somebody is bitter.

    • jump shot

      Maybe there’s “levels” to illustrious.
      I was kinda taken aback when I read his agent say “illustrious”, but as I kept reading…

      *1st rd draft pick (9th overall)
      *2 ncaa championships
      *2-time All-Star
      *1st Team All-NBA selection
      *NBA Defensive POY Award
      *3x All-NBA Defensive Team selection
      *over $130mil in salary earned in career
      (not including Univ. of Florida salary)

      Yeah… illustrious.
      Congratulations, Noah!

      • bigguccisosa300

        I love the (not including Univ. of Florida salary)
        Lol well done. I hated when my team or a team I was rooting for played against him in his prime. A fearsome defender and competitor. He went hard.

    • hiflew

      The guy made an All NBA team and won defensive POY. I can’t stand the guy. He is probably one of my least favorite players of all time. But even I can admit the guy had a really good NBA career.

    • baseballpun

      Too bad he didn’t have a hook shot. Could’ve called it Noah’s Arc.

  1. Little_Dunker_45

    I remember him like it was yesterday…those college days dont seen so long ago with the big titles. Time flies, it is precious. Please remember these words when the attitude here becomes negative

  2. windycitykid89

    Would t be surprised if he signs a 1 day deal to retire as a Bull, and wouldn’t be surprised if he gets offered a contract as a coach under his college coach Billy Donovan. Seems almost like a good fit

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Best days were with Bulls. Had some good yrs there. Great D guy and team player. When he came home to NY. He partied harder than he played. Never worked out for him.

  4. Noah is very close to the owner of the NZ Breakers (Matt Walsh) – who signed RJ Hampton last season – to the point where Matt said that if Noah isn’t playing in the NBA, he’ll be coming to the ANBL. Will be interesting to see if he has any desire left.

  5. Lionel Muggeridge

    Bucks should consider getting him as a bench big. He’d take the minimum to keep playing. Doesn’t need to play often but he’d be a good locker room guy

  6. His former HC with the Gators is now in Chicago, a city that loves Jo, coaching a team in desperate need of veteran leadership, especially in the front court. Sail off into the sunset in Chicago, Jo!!

  7. formerlyz

    damn…I feel like he could be useful on several teams, assuming he were healthy. Was hoping the Heat would sign him at the end of last season before the Clippers grabbed him to sit on the bench…

    If he thinks thats it for him, congrats to him on a great career. Respect to a guy that left it out on the floor

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