For the rest of the month, GBB will be breaking down every Grizzlies player that logged double-digit game appearances for Memphis this season and what their games need moving forward. Welcome to the 2018-2019 Memphis Grizzlies Player Review series!
By the Numbers
42 games played (1 start), 51.9% shooting, 113 offensive rating, 105 defensive rating, 18.6 PER, .150 win shares per 48 minutes
Season in Review:
On October 13, 2018 the New York Knicks used the stretch provision to waive Joakim Noah’s 18.53 million dollar contract. Noah had battled injuries his previous three seasons before joining the Grizzlies, only playing 53 games total in his two seasons in New York.
The Memphis Grizzlies, in need of reliable bench depth, decided to give the former Defensive Player of the Year a chance on a 1 year $1.7 million deal on December 4, 2018.
The expectations for the then 33 year old center were not very high. With the play of Shelvin Mack declining rapidly, there was more confusion at the move than anything.
Noah quickly silenced those doubters posting a 13 point, 5 rebound, 3 assist game in just 17 minutes in his second game for Memphis. More than the stats, Noah won over Memphis with his energy. Just look at the photo posted above. It didn't matter what kind of play Noah made on the court, he was gonna let you know he was in the building.
Since the departure of the Grindfather, Tony Allen, the Memphis Grizzlies and their fans have longed for a guy that no matter the situation brought hustle and energy. That kind of play by Tony Allen defined the Grit and Grind era in Memphis and Noah seemed to have embodied that style of play.
Joakim Noah in his prime was a 12 point, 11 rebound, 5 assist player. Noah is not the kind of guy that is going to put up gaudy numbers. He is a team player that isn't going to hurt the team on either end of the floor. He did end the season averaging 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds this year in a bounce back year for him.
So What is Next?
Joakim Noah will be entering free agency this summer and I believe he has played his way back into the league as a valuable bench piece for any team.
He is not the stretch big teams are all seeking for, he’s not young, and he's had some injuries, but Noah played like he still had some very productive years left in him. Sadly, that may mean he played his way out of Memphis.
The Memphis front office won’t have a ton of money to play with in free agency and with whatever money they may have, they probably should look to shore up wing depth first. If Noah could be had for a vet minimum again, you jump on it immediately. I fear however, that he has earned a 2-3 year deal worth around $5 million a year.
Stats provided by basketball-reference.com