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.
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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: Joakim Noah has agreed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, per league sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium.
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.
Shams Charania: Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Joakim Noah and the Memphis Grizzlies are expected to meet late next week and come to terms on a deal — in what has been a nearly two month-long courtship.
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.
There have been “extensive discussions” between the Grizzlies and Noah’s representatives about a deal that would bring the former All-Star back into the league, according to the people, who were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
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.
He remains optimistic, however, that he’ll play in the NBA again. “I’m staying ready and focused,” said Noah, who’s working out “a couple of times” a day. “[Just] waiting if something good comes along.”
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.
Marc Berman: Scott Perry says Joakim Noah “ wasn’t a fit for this roster. “
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 are the financial implications on the Joakim Noah waiver/stretch for the Knicks: New York will incur an $18.5M cap hit in 2018-19 that will be reduced by $522,252 if the center signs a 1 year $2.4M (minimum exception) guaranteed contract with a new team. For the next 3 seasons (2019-20 to 2021-22), New York will be charged $6.4M on the $19.3M amount owed to Noah.
Stefan Bondy: Sources: The Knicks are waiving Joakim Noah today outright, meaning he is not giving up buyout money.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Update: Sources with @IanBegley: Knicks will waive Joakim Noah today.
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.
The Warriors, Timberwolves and Thunder are three such teams that believe Noah, who turns 33 on Sunday, could bolster their respective rosters for the postseason. Minnesota is an obvious one since it would reunite Noah with his former coach with the Chicago Bulls, Tom Thibodeau. Golden State and Oklahoma City also feel that Noah’s experience and defensive prowess would solidify their respective benches.
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.”
Joakim Noah joked that he hasn’t taken his Knicks cap off since he signed a four-year, $72 million deal with his hometown team last month. “I think the Bulls-Knicks games are going to be good ones,” Noah said, smiling. “I’m looking forward to it. I think everybody is. It’s going to be a very competitive game with a lot of emotions. I’m trying to stay in the moment and focus on being as healthy as possible.”
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.”
Marc Berman: Jeff Hornacek and Clarence Gaines have arrived for Joakim Noah here in Orlando Disney resort. They’re going for steak. https://t.co/Mg4T1Jz23P
KC Johnson: Not surprising given his character: Noah had dialogue with people in Bulls organization today and thanked them for 9-year run.
Joakim Noah: Jah bless instagram.com/p/BHVHvdShpty
Shams Charania: Vertical Sources: Joakim Noah and the New York Knicks are in discussions on the framework of a deal in range of four years, $70M-plus.
The Vertical: Adrian Wojnarowski: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah recruiting Kevin Durant. Knicks a longshot.
Yannis Koutroupis: Noah to NY does seem like a foregone conclusion. Gotta give props to Phil Jackson. High risk, but he was overdue for a splash.
Marc Stein: The phrasing tends to be the same from every team we ask with Joakim Noah interest: We don’t have a chance because the Knicks are his choice
Marc Berman: Source says Joakim Noah-#Knicks meeting will be Friday in the day – not at the midnight hour.
Sam Amick: Quick clarification: Noah expected to consider/communicate w/ three teams, but the Knicks meeting is the only one scheduled at this point.
Marc J. Spears: Word is Noah loves his hometown NY dearly & dreams of playing for NYK. Saw him walking around NY smiling last week. twitter.com/espnsteinline/…
The New York Knicks have emerged as strong favorites to sign free-agent big man Joakim Noah, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that multiple teams interested in Noah have all but conceded already that the Knicks are his runaway preferred destination in free agency.
ESPN reported last week that Golden State is “all-in” on the pursuit of Durant, but sources said this week that the 2015 champions plan to retain Barnes and try to sign a proven big man — sources say Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, David West and Timofey Mozgov are all potential targets — if Durant stays with Oklahoma City or chooses to sign with another team.
Ian Begley: The Knicks are interested in Joakim Noah, but he isn’t the only big man on their radar. Another center some in the Knicks organization are high on is Timofey Mozgov, per league sources. The interest between Noah and the Knicks is strong and mutual. But Mozgov, an ex-Knick, provides an interesting alternative. With Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis on the roster, the Knicks probably won’t need a high-scoring center. Mozgov doesn’t need touches and would provide mobile rim protection and rebounding. He also compares favorably to Noah in some categories (age: Mozgov is 29, Noah is 31; recent health: Noah was limited to 29 games last season due to a left shoulder injury).
The positive feelings between Joakim Noah and the Knicks are mutual. According to an NBA source, the Knicks have “a very high interest” in signing Noah to play center in a frontcourt that would feature Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Another NBA source said Noah is eager for at least a sitdown with the Knicks.
Gar Forman insisted on draft night that the Bulls have every intention to sit down with free agent Joakim Noah and discuss the future come July 1. They need not bother. A source close to the situation not only shot down a report last month that the Bulls and Noah were having early “positive dialogue’’ on coming back together, but reiterated a Sun-Times story from late May in which Noah was telling teammates that he had no trust in the direction the front office was taking the team. So chalk up Forman’s optimism to the Bulls general manager simply trying to win the press conference.
According to the source, Noah and his agent, Bill Duffy, have already been gathering information on possible destinations, with a specific priority list in mind. First and foremost, Noah wants a chance to win. Followed closely by a chance to start, as well as finish games, and also a team that will continue to get behind his Noah’s Arc Foundation.
While several on the outside have speculated that Noah would simply go for the money, the source called that “naïve.’’ “They obviously don’t know Jo’s make-up,’’ the source said.
The Knicks are desperate for a starting center — their top target is Joakim Noah — and a starting shooting guard after the Derrick Rose blockbuster. They are also desperate to fill out a 15-man roster within the confines of the salary cap. They have just five players under contract.
J. Michael Falgoust: The Wizards are NOT going to offer, nor have plans to, Joakim Noah a max deal, I can confirm. #WizardsTalk @CSNWizards
J. Michael Falgoust: A league source on Wizards’ supposed max deal plan for Noah — and refuting it. “it sounds absolutely ridiculous” #WizardsTalk @CSNWizards
According to sources familiar with free agent talks, the Warriors are looking at Al Horford, Joakim Noah and even Hassan Whiteside. The contract demands might be too hefty but the goal is clear. The Warriors can’t thrive with a center that doesn’t attack the rim or score inside.
He has no intentions of re-signing in Chicago and is ready to move on, according to a source.
According to sources, the Wiz are locked in on making a major offer to Joakim Noah. The Wizards are said to be willing to offer Noah, coming off shoulder surgery that KO’d him in January, a full maximum contract. His deal would start at $28 million and reach around $120 million over four seasons. Yeah, it’ll be that kind of crazy money for the soon-to-be former Chicago Bull. The Wizards are prepared to go all out for the 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year because they have glaring holes up front and already are anticipating having to win an intense bidding war.
Three other teams — the Knicks, Timberwolves and Bucks — are also planning to make substantial offers to Noah, who played only 29 games last season before suffering a shoulder injury. If the Bulls come calling, he probably won’t even take their call.
Noah also has a big fan in Jason Kidd, who has soured on Greg Monroe, only one season into a deal that has two seasons to run. The Bucks tried to trade him in recent days, but the Celtics and other teams had no interest. Kidd has told associates he thinks Noah’s toughness and experience will greatly help his young rising stars, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. He’ll have to convince Noah, though, that he can be happy relocating to a small market.
Ian Begley: There are people in the Knicks organization who’d like to pursue Joakim Noah in free agency. And the interest seems to be mutual. People familiar with the situation say the Knicks are one team that Noah will be interested in in free agency. It will be key to find a contract that works for both sides, obviously.
The Knicks, as Jackson and coach Jeff Hornacek acknowledged, are now in the market for a center and a shooting guard. Jackson, as reported by the Daily News, told Rose that the Knicks will be making a run at top free agent Kevin Durant. In terms of a center, which is the deepest position in the 2016 free agent class, the options include Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. The Knicks are expected to sign Willy Hernangomez, their 2015 second-round pick, as the back-up center.
With Derrick Rose on board, some in the Knicks organization want to make a run at Bulls center – and soon to be free agent – Joakim Noah, sources say. Noah is close with Rose and has a good relationship with Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.
Michael Scotto: Sources: In addition to the Knicks, the Nets also have interest in free agent Joakim Noah. He attended Brooklyn’s Poly Prep HS for two years
KC Johnson: Bulls still plan to sit down with Joakim Noah come July 1. What’s crazy is Knicks make sense for Noah. So do Lakers.
The Magic’s strategy, a source told Sporting News recently, will involve luring former Florida Gators back to Central Florida. That means former Gator champs Joakim Noah and Al Horford, but also includes Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons, who will be a free agent this summer, too.
Darren Wolfson: Free agency buzz, which comes fast: can add the Wizards to the list of teams with interest in Noah. He’ll have a few suitors. #twolves
Sportando: This will be your first time as a free-agent, are you already thinking about that or are you taking your time? Noah: I’m very focused on free-agency. I spent the last 10 years in Chicago, there were good moments and bad moments but now I have an incredible opportunity for a player, being recruited by a team, I definitely want to live that kind of experience. It’s new for me but it’s something very intriguing for a player.
Sportando: So are you going to consider other offers, right? Noah: Sure. I’ll consider every offer on the table, no doubt. Sportando: ‘How was for you emotionally this season? Noah: Terrible. I was very disappointed, I played little minutes and then I got injured and the team didn’t reach the expectations. Very bad season but you need to learn from these things to become better.
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February 23, 2019 | 9:35 pm EST Update
Anthony Chiang: Per Heat, Rodney McGruder (bruised right knee) will not return to tonight’s game vs the Pistons. His status will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
February 23, 2019 | 8:52 pm EST Update
Karl-Anthony Towns remains in concussion protocol and will not play for Minnesota against Milwaukee, a night after missing a game for the first time in his career. The All-Star forward was in a car accident Thursday and didn’t play Friday in New York, ending his streak of 303 consecutive games started. He traveled with the Timberwolves for the game in Milwaukee on Saturday, rather than return to Minnesota, but hadn’t been cleared to play again.
Being unable to play has troubled Towns, coach Ryan Saunders said. “People asked me if he cared about his [consecutive games] streak,” Saunders said. “He hasn’t and didn’t mention one thing along those lines. It was all about being there for his teammates and contributing. He even had somebody run out and make sure he could get a sport coat so he was dressed properly on the bench so he could be there with his teammates. That says a lot about Karl.”