Joakim Noah

Clippers Sign Joakim Noah

JUNE 28 (3:35pm): The Clippers have officially signed Noah to his contract, the team announced in a press release on Sunday.

JUNE 28 (9:00am): Noah’s new deal covers the rest of the season and is non-guaranteed for 2020/21, tweets Jovah Buha of The Athletic.

JUNE 20: The Clippers intend to sign veteran center Joakim Noah to a rest-of-season contract once the NBA opens its transaction window next week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Noah had been just three days into a 10-day deal with the Clippers when the NBA suspended its season on March 11. However, active 10-day contracts, including Noah’s, will expire on June 23, per Charania. All other active 10-day deals belonged to players on teams that won’t be participating in the league’s resumed season this summer.

News that the Clippers plan to retain Noah doesn’t come as a major surprise. When he first signed with the club in March, the agreement was reported as an opportunity for a 10-day audition that was expected to be followed by a rest-of-season commitment. More recently, Noah spoke as if he would be part of Los Angeles’ roster when play resumed.

A former Defensive Player of the Year, Noah appeared in 42 games for the Grizzlies during the 2018/19 season, averaging 7.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 16.5 minutes per contest. The big man reportedly had a workout lined up with the Clippers last September, but was forced to cancel it after suffering an injury. He sat out most of the ’19/20 campaign, eventually joining the Clips once he got healthy.

Once the Clippers officially re-sign Noah, they’ll have a full roster, with 15 players on standard contracts and two on two-way deals. In order to make any additional changes, they’ll likely have to waive someone, though they’d also be eligible to sign a substitute player if one of their current players chose not to participate in the restart.

Joakim Noah Ready For NBA Return With Clippers

New Clippers backup center Joakim Noah cannot wait to get back on the court. In an extended conversation with The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, Noah went into detail about how he lobbied for his NBA return, now transpiring more than a year after he last suited up for the Grizzlies.

The article specifically notes that Noah, a two-time All-Star and 2014 Defensive Player of the Year with the Bulls, used his connections to get his shot with the Clippers. In just 16.5 MPG, Noah averaged 7.1 PPG and 5.7 RPG across 42 contests for Memphis during the 2018/19 season.

Noah, who splits his time between homes in Manhattan and Los Angeles, inked a 10-day contract with Los Angeles on March 9, two days before league play was paused due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Buha notes that, at 91 (now 94) days and counting, Noah’s deal has become one of the longest 10-day contracts in NBA history.

Signed for his skills as a limited-minutes defensive attribute, a rim-rolling energetic force and a savvy passer, the 35-year-old can also function as something of a mentor to starting Clippers center Ivica Zubac. Undersized backup big man Montrezl Harrell gets the lions’ share of minutes at center.

The article also mentions that the Clippers will most likely guarantee Noah’s contract for the rest of the season, including the playoffs. The whole piece is well worth a read, but here are some choice quotes:

On concluding his career with a title contender:

“It was about being able to finish my career on a team that has a common goal.”

On waiting for his opportunity with Los Angeles through the coronavirus delay:

“I think it’s just it’s all about perspective and how you look at it… Even though it was a setback, I think it also makes me appreciate the opportunity that much more, you know?”

On his role with the Clippers:

“The way I look at it is I know that I’m in an environment right now with a winning culture and a team that’s really trying to win a championship and there’s not much more I could ask for… Regardless of what my role is, I’m grateful. I know I’m as ready as I can be. So it’s not about comparing myself to past years or even last year, it’s just being the best that I can be physically and using my experience to be there for the guys.”

On being able to mentor Zubac:

“I just want to talk to (Zubac) about some of the things that I’ve been through… I’ve been in situations where we had championship aspirations and then injuries kind of derailed that. So it’s just not taking your opportunities for granted. And just because you’re a young player doesn’t mean that these situations happen all the time. So it’s just like really living in the moment.”

On playing within the Orlando bubble during the pandemic, with a realistic title chance:

“I think that it’s different for teams who don’t have a chance, but for teams who have a chance, these opportunities don’t … I mean, we trust the league and we know that you know (NBA commissioner) Adam (Silver) is — I don’t think he’ll put the players’ health in jeopardy. He’s somebody who has shown time and time again that he’s the best commissioner in sports… There’s nobody I would want to do this with more than with the Clippers.”

Seven Players On 10-Day Contracts When NBA Suspended Season

A moratorium agreement between the NBA and the NBPA will reportedly affect players on 10-day contracts, as Shams Charania of The Athletic said earlier today. Following up on that point, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter links) confirms that the clock will stop on the 10-day contracts that were active when the NBA suspended its season.

Presumably, Grizzlies forward Anthony Tolliver won’t be impacted. His 10-day deal with Memphis was set to expire on Wednesday night, the last night of game action before the suspension began. Once the moratorium is lifted and play resumes, he’ll likely have to sign a new 10-day contract or rest-of-season pact with the Grizzlies to remain with the team.

However, there were seven other players whose 10-day contracts had yet to run their course as of Wednesday night. Here are the affected players, with the number of days remaining on their deals noted in parentheses:

We’ll have to wait for official details on the moratorium agreement to confirm exactly how these 10-day deals will be handled.

Based on today’s reports though, it sounds like the contracts for players like Chealey, Hall, and Randle, which would have expired on Thursday night, will carry over to the day the season resumes. A player like Noah, who still had a week left on his 10-day contract, should play out that week following the resumption of the season.

Unless we learn otherwise, our roster counts page and 10-day tracker will assume these seven 10-day contracts remain active.

Clippers Sign Joakim Noah To 10-Day Contract

MARCH 9: The Clippers have officially signed Noah to his 10-day contract, sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic (Twitter link). The deal will run through March 18, covering the club’s next five games.

MARCH 6: The Clippers have reached an agreement to sign free agent center Joakim Noah, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter).

According to Wojnarowski, Noah is expected to officially join the team next week. No corresponding roster move will be required, since L.A. has an opening on its 15-man roster.

Noah’s deal with the Clippers will start as a 10-day contract, a source tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). That will give the club a chance to audition Noah and potentially change course if things don’t go well. Presumably, if it’s a good fit, a rest-of-season agreement will follow.

Noah, 35, last played in the NBA for the Grizzlies, appearing in 42 games during the 2018/19 season and averaging 7.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 16.5 minutes per contest. The big man reportedly had a workout lined up with the Clippers last September, but was forced to cancel it after suffering an injury.

Noah published an Instagram video in late January showing him training and confirming that he had been recovering from an Achilles injury. He stated at the time that he was looking to make a return to the NBA, with a post-deadline report suggesting that he was “fully healthy” and remained an option for the Clippers. The Nuggets were also said to be considering the veteran free agent.

In Los Angeles, Noah will provide frontcourt depth for a Clippers team that had been on the lookout for a true center with size. Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac have done an admirable job handling the five for L.A. this season, but neither player is necessarily an ideal matchup for the NBA’s standout traditional centers.

The Clippers’ potential path to the Finals may require them to get past big men like Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, and/or Steven Adams, so it makes sense that the team wants one more defensive-minded option up front, just in case.

Noah will earn $144,901 on a 10-day contract, with the Clippers carrying a cap charge of $91,557.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Charania’s Latest: Nuggets, Nowitzki, Harkless, Crawford

Before they reached an agreement to sign Troy Daniels this week, the Nuggets considered a handful of other veteran free agents, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who identifies Iman Shumpert and Joakim Noah as two players who were on Denver’s radar.

Although the Nuggets chose Daniels for now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t add another free agent, such as Shumpert or Noah, before the playoffs begin next month. Daniels filled the 14th spot on Denver’s roster, so the team still has one more opening on its 15-man squad.

Here are a few more items of interest from Charania:

  • The Mavericks have a standing job offer out to Dirk Nowitzki, but the longtime Dallas forward isn’t yet ready to take on a formal role with the franchise, says Charania. It’s not clear what sort of job the Mavs are offering Nowitzki — I imagine he’d have plenty of say in his role, depending on what interests him.
  • After not buying out Maurice Harkless by March 1, the Knicks are expected to show interest in re-signing him this summer, sources tell The Athletic. Some playoff teams are planning to pursue Harkless as well, Charania adds.
  • Despite not having played since last spring, Jamal Crawford remains committed to continuing his NBA career, according to Charania, who says the free agent guard – who turns 40 in two weeks – is in shape and ready to go if he gets an opportunity.
  • Earlier today, we passed along Charania’s reports on the Lakers monitoring the market for shooting help, Joel Embiid‘s target return date, and a few pre-deadline trades that ultimately failed to materialize.

Clippers Notes: Morris, Beverley, Noah, Collison

The Clippers believe newly-acquired Marcus Morris will have a smooth transition to his new team, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Morris was averaging a career-best 19.6 points per game with the Knicks and shooting 43.9% from beyond the arc before Thursday’s trade. Clippers officials expect him to provide an upgrade offensively over Maurice Harkless, who was sent to New York in the deal.

“There may be no better fit than Marcus,” general manager Michael Winger said.

In addition to his scoring prowess, Morris brings another dose of on-court toughness that the organization prides itself on. He’s joining a pair of former teammates in Patrick Beverley and Patrick Patterson, who played alongside him in Houston.

“My brother back with me. It’s on,” Beverley tweeted after the trade was announced.

There’s more Clippers news to pass along:

  • Coach Doc Rivers said the team did plenty of background work on Morris before the deal and was pleased with the responses, tweets Jovah Buha of The Athletic. “A lot of research goes into when you make a trade, especially with this team and where we’re trying to go,” Rivers said. “You can’t take any chances. You have to make sure guys are a good fit. … All the intel we had was very positive.” Rivers plans to experiment with some smaller lineups using Morris and JaMychal Green surrounded by three shooters (Twitter link).
  • Meeting with reporters tonight, Morris said the Clippers made a positive impression when he met with them in free agency, even though he wound up with the Knicks, relays Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). “I could tell that the main goal here was trying to win a championship and that’s something that I wanted to be part of,” Morris said. “Obviously last summer some things didn’t go the way I thought it would, but we here now, $15MM richer.”
  • Joakim Noah remains an option for the Clippers, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. A minor injury forced Noah to cancel a workout with L.A. just before training camp opened in September, but the 34-year-old center has been targeting a return once buyout season began. A source tells Heavy that Noah is fully healthy and “has been working on maintaining his conditioning and is hopeful that he’ll play this season.”
  • Even if Darren Collison decides against returning to the NBA this season, that may not mark the end of his career, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy. Collison, who is expected to decide soon and prefers to join the Clippers or Lakers, could put off his comeback until summer.

And-Ones: China, Kobe, Noah, Trade Deadline

As the World Health Organization declares the coronavirus outbreak a “global health emergency,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter thread) took the opportunity to explore the impact it has had on the basketball community in China.

According to Givony, the Chinese Basketball Association has postponed games indefinitely, with some CBA teams sending American players home while others prefer to have those players stick around. Although no CBA team plays within 350 miles of the Hubei province (the coronavirus epicenter), there’s talk that the season may not resume until March, if it resumes at all.

As Givony explains, CBA contracts often don’t include the same player-friendly protections that other international contracts do, so some players are nervous about how the league will handle those deals. Late payments or possible voided contracts are among their concerns, Givony adds.

According to Givony (Twitter link), teams in Europe, the G League, and even the NBA are likely keeping an eye on the situation. Many former NBA players are under contract in the CBA and could become free agents if the season is cancelled or their deals are voided.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Despite the idea receiving support from some NBA players and a petition that has received nearly three million signatures, the league doesn’t plan on changing its logo to Kobe Bryant or any other individual player, preferring a “generic” design, says Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports. As Dan Feldman of NBC Sports explains, it’s widely known that the current logo uses Jerry West‘s silhouette, but the NBA has never formally acknowledged that.
  • Veteran center Joakim Noah published an Instagram video of him running, suggesting in the caption that he’d like to return to the NBA. “Four months post-Achilles surgery and I’m back on the track,” Noah wrote. “My goal is to get back out there and compete. I’ve had many surgeries but coming back from this would be very rewarding.” Noah’s health status is a little unclear — if the surgery he referred to was for a torn Achilles, he presumably won’t be ready to play anytime soon, but we don’t know the exact details.
  • A handful of ESPN analysts made their predictions for the trade deadline, identifying which contenders and rebuilding teams most need to make a move. Bobby Marks and Tim Bontemps are among those who expect it to be a quiet deadline.

Mavs Notes: Porzingis, Noah, Powell Replacements, Trade Options

Kristaps Porzingis could see a lot more action at center the remainder of the season, according to Eddie Sefko of the team’s website. The Mavericks need to replace the minutes of Dwight Powell, who is out for the season with a ruptured right Achilles. When paired with Maxi Kleber, Porzingis can play either center or power forward. Porzingis can utilize his playmaking skills from the middle, as he did for a stretch against the Clippers on Tuesday.

“We’ve done it some,” coach Rick Carlisle said while adding, “The bind you get in is with rebounding and that was obvious in the second half. We were really up against it on the boards. … But in terms of the lineup and everything else, there’s a lot of things we’ve got to keep on the table.”

We have more on the Mavericks:

  • The Mavs’ front office has made contact with free agent center Joakim Noah, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. However, the team has concerns about Noah’s health and is also looking at overseas and G League options, MacMahon adds. Noah, 34, appeared in 34 games with the Grizzlies last season. Dallas would have to open up a roster spot to bring in a free agent.
  • Washington’s Ian Mahinmi, Minnesota’s Gorgui Dieng and Golden State’s Willie Cauley-Stein and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson are some of the trade options the team could pursue in the wake of Powell’s injury, Sefko writes in a separate piece.  Rookie Isaiah Roby and Justin Jackson could also pick up some of those minutes, Sefko adds, and the Mavs might pursue another G League option, Ray Spalding, of the Greensboro Swarm, who was on Dallas’ roster for part of last season.
  • Even before Powell’s injury, the team was perusing the trade market for players with size who can score 15 points a game, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (video link). “They have assets. They have a trade exception, they have Courtney Lee, who’s a contract that can be traded. Watch out for them,” Windhorst said.
  • The Mavs have two trade exceptions available to utilize prior to February’s deadline, including one worth over $11.8MM. Check out the list of all trade exceptions here.

Joakim Noah Still Hoping To Sign With Contender

Free agent big man Joakim Noah suffered an injury over the summer, but has recovered and is working out again, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who tweets that Noah is looking to sign with a contending team.

Noah, 34, appeared in only seven games for the Knicks in 2017/18, but rejuvenated his career last season in Memphis after being bought out by New York. In 42 contests with the Grizzlies, the veteran center averaged 7.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.1 APG in just 16.5 minutes per game.

After hitting free agency again this summer, Noah didn’t land with an NBA team right away and was reportedly recruited by the New Zealand Breakers, R.J. Hampton‘s team in the National Basketball League.

Opting to remain stateside, Noah had an “impressive” workout for the Lakers in August, but was passed over for Dwight Howard. While a report in September suggested that Noah would work out for L.A.’s other team, that Clippers audition was allegedly cancelled, a hint that he may have been dealing with an injury at that time.

NBA teams generally aren’t looking to shake up their rosters this early in the season, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Noah get a chance with a contender at some point, especially if injuries start to pile up around the league.

For instance, although Jason Quick of The Athletic tweets that the Trail Blazers likely won’t add a 15th man for now, since they remain optimistic about Pau Gasol‘s recovery, the Blazers are one team that could consider adding a big man like Noah, with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins both on the shelf.

Joakim Noah’s Workout With Clippers Canceled

Joakim Noah won’t work out for the Clippers this week, two sources tell Sean Deveney of Heavy. L.A. had planned to audition Noah in its search for a backup center. The team is at the maximum of 20 players, but only has 14 guaranteed contracts and appears willing to make a move to add veteran help in the middle.

Noah, 34, tried out for a role with the Lakers last month in the wake of an injury to DeMarcus Cousins. He reportedly had an impressive workout, but the job went to Dwight Howard.

Noah revived his career in Memphis after two disastrous seasons with the Knicks that ended with him getting waived before the start of last season. He signed with the Grizzlies in December and appeared in 42 games, averaging 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds.

Deveney doesn’t indicate whether Noah has ruled out the Clippers entirely or whom the team might turn to as an alternative. L.A. has a deep, experienced roster everywhere but at center, he notes, as Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell have a combined 17 games of playoff experience.