After months of speculation and “courting” the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to terms with free agent center Joakim Noah. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Noah has agreed to a veteran’s minimum deal with the Grizzlies and will be the teams backup center.
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. https://t.co/zOMqRi2mnj— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 30, 2018
Noah has averaged 8.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists over his career, but his skills have diminished greatly his past few seasons in Chicago and his entire tenure in New York. Noah was bought out by New York earlier this season after having multiple conflicts with the Knicks front office.
Although Noah isn’t a signing most fans will be excited about, the Grizzlies could get good value out of the former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year. Similar to Marc Gasol, Noah was known as a defensive presence more so for his ability to “quarterback” the defense instead of racking up a bunch of blocks and steals. Gasol has been revitalized on the defense end this season and I’m sure the Grizzlies front office is hoping they can do the same with Noah. Simply put, if Noah is going to salvage his career anywhere the Grizzlies are his best option.
Noah won’t bring much to the table offensively, but can be serviceable by grabbing offensive rebounds and getting easy points at the basket. Defensively, all Noah needs to do is be a shell of his former self and be just good enough to give Gasol more of a breather without taking minutes away from Jaren Jackson Jr.
It isn’t a sexy signing, but the Grizzlies may get more value out of Noah than most fans expect. As always, stick with Grizzly Bear Blues for all your Grizzlies news, and check out Site Manager Joe Mullinax’s breakdown of Noah in Memphis here.