NBA rumors: Joakim Noah likely to retire

Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers are waiving center Joakim Noah — and his agent, Bill Duffy of @BDA Sports, tells ESPN that Noah is “likely headed toward retirement.” One of his era’s most ferocious competitors, Noah played 13 seasons, made two All-Star games and was a 3-time All-Defensive team choice.

More on Joakim Noah Free Agency

Adrian Wojnarowski: Bill Duffy on Noah: “What an illustrious career for Joakim, starting with two national titles at the University of Florida, to becoming an NBA Defensive Player of the Year and ultimately evolving into one of the most passionate, spirited players to ever come through our sport. It’s been my honor to represent Joakim through his journey.”
Bobby Marks: The LA Clippers are $1M below the hard cap after the Daniel Oturu signing. The Clippers can sign 2 veterans to the minimum exception ($1.6M) but at the cost of Joakim Noah. Noah has a $2.7M non-guaranteed contract that becomes full if he is not waived by 12/22.
Shams Charania: Joakim Noah and the Clippers plan for him to sign a rest of season deal next week, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Current 10-day contracts, including Noah, expire on June 23.
Keith Smith: Per a league source: All players who were on 10 Day contracts will be free agents when the season resumes. This adds another 8 free agents to the available pool. Only Anthony Tolliver (MEM) & Joakim Noah (LAC) were with teams that are part of the re-start at Walt Disney World.
Keith Smith: Per a league source: All players who were on 10 Day contracts will be free agents when the season resumes. This adds another 8 free agents to the available pool. Only Anthony Tolliver (MEM) & Joakim Noah (LAC) were with teams that are part of the re-start at Walt Disney World.
Free-agent center Joakim Noah has agreed to a deal with the LA Clippers, league sources tell ESPN. Noah, 35, will join the Clippers on a 10-day contract next week, but there's optimism that he would finish the season with the team barring any setbacks, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Clippers are signing free agent center Joakim Noah, league sources tell ESPN. Noah, a two-time All-Star, is expected to join the team next week.
Tim MacMahon: Sources: The Mavs have touched base with Joakim Noah as they search for center depth in the wake of Dwight Powell's season-ending injury. Dallas has concerns about Noah's health and is considering several other options, including G League and overseas players.
Chandler Parsons: I was always cool with Blake Griffin. He was in the league before me. Even this past summer, I hired his entire strength team and we trained together accordingly. Joakim Noah was one of the guys I trained with every day in the summer. That’s pretty much our group and then we’ll go to different workouts, different pickups like UCLA or pickups at West L.A. College and have our team already. Do you know how Noah is doing these days? I know that he had some serious injury that kept him sidelined for a bit. Chandler Parsons: He’s good. You can tell he’s been working out. He’s the type of guy that works so hard that he’ll be back. During the deadline and during the buyout season, somebody will pick him up. He’ll be a key part for, hopefully, a contender.
Justin Russo: Brian Windhorst says Joakim Noah suffered a "significant injury" and his "career really in jeopardy." Might explain why the Los Angeles Clippers never signed him, I guess.
Free-agent center Joakim Noah plans to join the Clippers for workouts this week, league sources said. Noah was a finalist for the Lakers center signing that went to Dwight Howard, who was signed following the ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins.
He showed the Lakers that his surgically repaired back was healthy and that he had lost 25 pounds to get into better condition, and ultimately the Lakers chose him over Joakim Noah, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers completed workouts and meetings with Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah on Thursday and have Mo Speights at the team’s facility today, league sources tell ESPN. Both Howard and Noah left impressions that they could be helpful to the team.
Windhorst thinks the Lakers are doing their proper due diligence, but says Howard coming back to the Purple and Gold is probably not going to happen. “I don’t think it’s a very likely marriage,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “I think the Lakers right now are doing their due diligence on players, on available centers. Joakim Noah’s another guy they’ve looked at. “Dwight Howard has been on four different teams in the last four years. The Lakers are in need of somebody who can be healthy and give them minutes and that doesn’t fit who Dwight Howard or Joakim Noah are at this point of their careers.
One of the bigger NBA names who’s still unsigned is former defensive player of the year and two-time All-Star Joakim Noah. While Noah is weighing his options, he has been training in Los Angeles and talking with Terrell Owens, who relayed his experience of playing with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals at the end of his Hall of Fame career. “I told him about the end of my career when I was with Dallas and looking to sign with another team and Buffalo came to the table,” Owens said. “That’s not the most desirable place to play football, but I didn’t allow that environment or what people said about it to deter me from going there. [Noah] might have a chance to go to Detroit, which isn’t a desirable destination, but I said be a bright spot in a not so great environment. It doesn’t matter. Just rededicate yourself and be the best basketball player you can be.”
Marc Stein: Walsh sees Noah as the @NZBreakers' "dream signing," pitching it as a chance for Noah to sample a new world before returning to the NBA a la Andrew Bogut. Bogut had an MVP season with the @SydneyKings in 2018-19, then made a late-season move to Golden State after @nbl play ended.
Marc Stein: The @NZBreakers are trying to convince Joakim Noah to play in Australia's @nbl next season, league sources say, with Breakers owner Matt Walsh -- Noah's former collegiate teammate -- leading the recruitment
Noah takes nothing for granted. "I'm more proud of this year than I was when I was an All-Star," he says. "I lost my confidence on the court in a real public way. You don't know if you are going to get that back. Just to have that feeling back -- to be able to be myself, and express myself on the court -- it feels great." Noah played well enough to earn a roster spot somewhere next year. Does he expect that? "F--- yeah," he says.
Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team signed center Joakim Noah for the remainder of the season. Noah will wear #55 for the Grizzlies. Noah (6-11, 230) was named the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, was selected to the 2013-14 All-NBA First Team and finished fourth in the Most Valuable Player voting after setting career highs with averages of 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.24 steals for the Bulls that season. His career highlights also include two consecutive NBA All-Star appearances (2013, 2014), three NBA All-Defensive honors (Second Team in 2011, First Team in 2013 and 2014) and the 2015 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After undergoing a team physical, free agent center Joakim Noah is signing a one-year, $1.73M prorated minimum deal with Memphis today, league sources tell ESPN.
Marc Gasol has applauded the Memphis Grizzlies' signing of Joakim Noah. In an interview with Basket-Infos, the center spoke glowingly about the French big man and underlined how well he'll adjust to the style and culture of Memphis. Gasol: "Noah will give us experience, physical play, capability as a passer and creator, and another voice in the locker room. He's the type of player that will adapt perfectly to our team. He plays with a lot of intensity, with a lot of passion and he places a lot of emphasis on defense. I liked [the signing] a lot. He knows how to make players around him better."
Joakim Noah will arrive to to provide relief to Marc Gasol in the center position, and to give another veteran voice to help with Jaren Jackson Jr.'s development. But the Spanish center believes he and Noah can share minutes together. And he used a very interesting and close-to-home example: "We can play together. He already did it with Pau Gasol in Chicago and I know Pau liked sharing the floor with him. I can play like a 4 or a 5. I would like to share the floor with him at times when we want to play with a supersized five."
Chris Herrington: Re: Noah. Agreement seems to be only verbal right now but heading to resolution. He's likely to be in Memphis early next week for his physical and if all goes well could debut Wednesday against the Clippers. Story coming.
Shams Charania: Noah will travel to Memphis on Sunday and sign his one-year deal with the Grizzlies early next week, league sources said. Memphis (12-8) has targeted Noah as backup center all season.
Albert Nahmad: Even if Joakim Noah signs a multi-year deal, or new deal next summer, it wouldn’t create more cap room for Knicks next summer. While a contract that covers 19-20 could qualify to set-off his $6.4M cap hits from 19-20 to 21-21, it wouldn’t apply until end of 19-20 regular season.
Earlier this month, the Knicks waived Noah even though he had two years left on his contract. Two weeks into the season, Noah is still without a team. Asked if he would want to play for the Bulls again, Noah hesitated. “It’s a tough question,” he said.
KC Johnson: One home game after Ron Artest/Metta World Peace landed at United Center, Joakim Noah is planning as of now to attend Bulls-Warriors on Monday. Talked to Noah this summer. He’s healthy, eager for new opportunity. Like all athletes, you hope he gets to exit on his terms.
Ian Begley: Scott Perry said he spent ‘a lot of time’ trying to find a trade involving Joakim Noah. He said he was dead set against giving up first round picks in any deal. He says they did what was in the best interest of the Knicks re: waiving and stretching Noah. He wishes Noah the best.
Those who know Noah, his friends and workout partners, say he has chosen public silence out of principle. He’d rather work alone and try to redeem himself when he can rather than speak now or over the last nine months. While the Knicks have offered small updates on his status before their separation this weekend, Noah has only been visible through Instagram posts and the spare TMZ appearance. Noah’s absence from the team had been called a mutual one, though the team has not elaborated why an incident with its former coach would disqualify bringing him back. When asked last month why the franchise had chosen to let Noah go rather than try to bring him back and make it work, general manager Scott Perry danced around the question, saying only that they were “comfortable” with the process the Knicks and Noah’s representatives had embarked on since he left.
Here’s how the mathematics work. On Sept. 1, Noah will be deemed to have one remaining year on his pact after the current season. Hence, on that date, if waived under the stretch provision, the $19.2 million left would be stretched over three years — counting against the cap in the summers of 2019, 2020 and 2021. That amounts to about $6.5 million each year. As for the Knicks’ 2019 cap savings, instead of having $19.2 million count on the cap, the number would be $6.5 million. In exchange, the Knicks would have Noah count against the cap for an additional two summers.
According to sources, there are teams interested in signing Noah for the playoffs — including the Timberwolves — but only as a free agent on a minimum deal. That would require the Knicks to waive Noah before midnight Thursday. New York tried to trade Noah but his contract was deemed prohibitive without assets attached.
Joakim Noah may never suit up again for the Knicks, but the exiled center will have plenty of desirable options should he negotiate a buyout with the club. According to league sources, several playoff-bound teams are closely monitoring Noah’s situation in New York and would push to sign him if Noah becomes a free agent.
Noah called Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, President Michael Reinsdorf, executive vice president John Paxson, general manager Gar Forman and other organizational members when his nine-season run with the Bulls ended. But it's also clear the Knicks leaped to the forefront of his free-agency choices as soon as the Bulls traded close friend Derrick Rose to the Knicks on June 22. "When the Derrick trade went down, it was for a center, for Robin (Lopez)," Noah said. "So I knew that there was going to be a (Knicks) need for a center. I remember my agent telling me this team was going to be an option and this team was going to be an option. And I couldn't even think about anything but playing for New York. My mind was already set on where I wanted to play. It made too much sense — hometown, Derrick, Phil (Jackson), just everything. For me, it's like a dream come true."
It was clear during an interview last week in his Chicago residence, with its sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the skyline, that leaving the Bulls in the right way was important to him. "I have no anger towards nobody," Noah said. "If we had a couple rough years at the end, I'm just still so grateful for the opportunity the Bulls gave me. It's like a family to me. Even though it's a new chapter for the end of my career to be in New York, I think Chicago is always going to be a home to me. Everywhere I go in this city, it's always love. If I'm walking in the airport, wherever I am and someone's from Chicago, it's never animosity or negative or why did you leave us? It's always very appreciative. And it's humbling. I know free agency is a business. But I feel I always show a lot of respect for this city and its people. And I get love back for it. And it feels good."
About five years ago, Noah says that he paid a visit to Phil Jackson at the Zen Master’s Montana retreat, after Jackson had left the Lakers’ bench and was semi-retired. The trip, which was sparked by mutual friends of both Noah and Jackson, now seems to have been a hint of things to come. “My father used to make me read (Jackson’s) books when I was a kid. I hate reading books, but I read his books,” says Noah. “I had an opportunity to go to Montana and meet (Jackson). So I took the plane, went to Montana, and I knock on his door. We start talking and he goes, ‘Why are you here?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ It was a great couple days. I got an opportunity to meet one of the legends and spend time with him. Life works in mysterious ways. Now we’re here.”
“I’ve been injured for the last couple years. It sucks. As an athlete, trust me, there’s nothing more I want than to be on the court. It doesn’t matter what anybody writes. At the end of the day, nobody cares about this s--- more than me. I know. I’m the one putting in the work every day,” says Noah. “I’m going to be very passionate about this. And I always have been and always will. This is where I want to end my career, (play) ‘till the wheels fall off. Playing in this uniform means everything to me.”
“What a blessing. I feel like a rookie all over again,” says Noah, 31, as microphones and cameras record his every word and move during his Knicks introductory press conference, in which he sports a baseball cap with the logo “New York Made” on the front. “There’s definitely a buzz in the city. I think it’s on us to make it work. Winning in the Garden, I’m not gonna get a feeling like that anywhere else. I’m not here to just get a check and be happy. I want to be an animal. I want to make the city proud,” says Noah.
Sometime after launching his Twitter feed in 2013, Jackson followed Noah, presumably because his intangibles-laden game, at full speed, is a Jacksonian blueprint for what basketball should be at its kumbaya best. “That might have been the best passing game I’ve ever seen from a center,” said Mike Breen, who, with Jeff Van Gundy, called the Chicago Bulls’ 109-90 Noah-led slaughter of Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks for ABC at United Center.
Can he be all that again after all those hard minutes played in Chicago over nine years? “After Chicago made him come off the bench to start last season before he hurt the shoulder, the Knicks are betting on his pride, to prove himself still one of the league’s premier centers,” Van Gundy said. “The length of the contract they’re talking about is scary, but if he’s healthy, you’re getting a really smart, tenacious player and as good a frontcourt passer as there is.”
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