Joakim Noah appears to be ready to find a new home.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Memphis Grizzlies are in talks to sign Noah, who has been available since being waived by the New York Knicks on Oct. 13.
The Grizzlies are in talks with free agent big man Joakim Noah to sign the former Knick, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 19, 2018
There have been "extensive discussions" between the Grizzlies and Noah in recent days, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 19, 2018
The Grizzlies are off to a 10-5 start, so Noah will at least be able to join a team that has some ambition of making something of their season. Still, at this stage of his career, he’s little more than a depth option, and that’s likely the role he’ll be asked to play in Memphis as long as the deal is completed.
Joakim Noah and the New York Knicks will reportedly finally be free of each other on Saturday.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley of ESPN, the Knicks will waive Noah on Saturday after he refused to take a buyout in light of a lack of interest in his services from the rest of the NBA.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 13, 2018
This should end a months-long saga that has always looked to be headed for an inevitable ending. It has been clear for months that Noah would have no part to play in New York this season, but the Knicks were clearly looking for ways to save any money they could while getting rid of him. Ultimately, Noah’s steadfast refusal to take a buyout coupled with no apparent interest in his services led them to this step.
Joakim Noah wants to know why the New York Knicks won’t just let him go.
In a post from his Instagram on Friday afternoon, Noah posted a cryptic message, presumably urging the Knicks to “let me go” as rumors fly about his future.
from Joakim Noah pic.twitter.com/XeUDhDUEOM
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) September 28, 2018
Some would say Noah has a point. It has been no secret for quite a while that the Knicks intend to get rid of Noah, with one report stating it would happen before training camp. That hasn’t come to fruition, and is perhaps a source of Noah’s frustration. Though the Knicks don’t want him or have any use for him anymore, they still have him on the roster, while he would simply prefer to be moved along and given the opportunity to catch on elsewhere.
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.