The Minnesota Timberwolves have to draw the line on the “Timberbulls” narrative somewhere.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, despite coach Tom Thibodeau’s apparent desire to reunite with as many ex-Bulls players as possible, center Joakim Noah would not be on their radar if and when he parts ways with the New York Knicks.
Even the Wolves acknowledge hearing the "Timberbulls" chatter … but word is they have no current plans to pursue Joakim Noah should Noah part ways with the Knicks in the near future as expected https://t.co/0ZyE1xFn3M
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 12, 2018
Minnesota added another former Bull earlier in the week in Luol Deng, who joins Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson on Thibodeau’s roster. Many immediately joked that Noah, who is on the way out in New York, was probably next, but apparently that won’t be the case.
It’s always sad watching once-great athletes enter the twilight of their careers. For sports fans, it feels like we’re losing a piece of ourselves. Father Time doesn’t discriminate, and though some athletes push the envelope into their 40s, we all sadly have a shelf life.
In the past two years, fans have seen notable figures like Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce retire. Here are 10 well-known players who may follow in their footsteps in the next year.
10. Vince Carter
I sat down with V.C. on draft day to discuss his future, and at the time it was uncertain. He was waiting for LeBron to announce his decision so the rest of the league could react and adjust their free-agency plans accordingly. Once LJ finally did so, the Hawks scooped Carter, signing him to a one-year deal. Atlanta wanted “Carter around its young locker room,” per Woj. The 41-year-old will receive $2.4 million for the season — keep getting them checks! Carter is no longer the Vinsanity we all knew and loved, but he’s had a heck of a career, and he’s still a valuable piece. Last season, with Sacramento, he played in 58 games, averaging 17.7 minutes, 5.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 34.5 percent from beyond the arc. The former No. 5 overall pick (1998, Golden State Warriors) has now played for eight teams.
A new coach will not mean a second chance in New York for Joakim Noah.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley, the New York Knicks intend to use the NBA’s stretch-and-waive provision on Noah before Sept. 1, and the team has no plans to bring him back into the squad under new coach David Fizdale.
Noah has two years and nearly $38 million left on his deal, and the Knicks are waiting to release him because doing so after September will save the team $12.9 million toward the salary cap. Efforts to trade Noah have been unsuccessful, as the Knicks have been unwilling to sweeten the pot for other teams by adding quality draft picks or young talent to any package to unburden themselves of the contract.
Noah’s Knicks career essentially ended with a practice argument with then-coach Jeff Hornacek in February. Hornacek has since been fired, but that evidently won’t change the fact that Noah isn’t welcome around the team.
Tom Thibodeau’s mission to turn the Minnesota Timberwolves into Chicago Bulls West may be inching closer to fruition.
Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported on Saturday that the Wolves will monitor the situations of ex-Bulls Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, who are both buyout candidates. Krawczynski also adds that if they are indeed bought out, Minnesota would “certainly” consider signing one of them to a minimum deal.
Noah and Deng, both 33 years old, are hugely negative assets at this stage of their respective careers and possess two of the absolute worst contracts in the NBA right now. The former is still owed a horrendous $37.8 million over the next two years by the New York Knicks, and the latter is still owed an equally brutal $36.8 million over the next two years by the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, what matters here is that the two former All-Stars used to play in Chicago under Thibodeau, who has brought in an almost laughable number of his former Windy City players to Minnesota (a list that includes Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, and Aaron Brooks). At least one of those players might not be happy to hear this news though.
Joakim Noah left the New York Knicks on sour terms back in January and has not played competitive basketball since, but he appears to be doing quite well. In fact, it looks like the big man has taken his time away from the court to get in touch with nature.
On Sunday, Noah celebrated Earth Day by showing off his blonde beard on Instagram. We’ll just let you watch the video:
The reports we heard about Noah’s relationship with former Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek made it seem like he was dealing with a lot of tension in his life, but that certainly looks like a man who has found peace. It will be interesting to see if Noah remains with the Knicks next season and if he brings his blonde beard with him.
- Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah remains persona non grata from the New York Knicks.
General manager Scott Perry affirmed Friday that the Knicks have no intention of asking or welcoming the exiled Noah back into the fold after the trade deadline came and went without a deal.
“There’s no new update — same place,” Perry said, via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “We weren’t able to get a trade done. He’s not coming back right now. He’ll be away until further notice.”
It’s tough to see where this saga goes from here. With $54 million left on his deal, there’s no way the Knicks are going to find a trade partner for him. It doesn’t sound like he has any interest in negotiating a buyout. For the moment, it looks like the two sides will just remain separate from each other with no end in sight.
The NBA trade deadline has passed, but we are far from the end of the player movement. It has become normal that a robust buyout market emerges after the deadline, as players who weren’t moved — or were moved to match salaries — are set free to sign with contenders for the minimum. These buyout players are valuable weapons for cap-limited teams in need of more depth.
Who will end up on the buyout market this year? Here are ten potential candidates of varying likelihood.
1) Derrick Rose, Jazz
Derrick Rose was sent to Utah as part of a three-way trade the Cavs made on deadline day. Reports have said he is likely to seek a buyout and receive one from the Jazz. If that happens, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been mentioned as a potential landing spot. He has great familiarity with his former coach Tom Thibodeau and ex-teammate Jimmy Butler, and is said to have interest in a reunion.
2) Joe Johnson, Kings