The Chicago Bulls are a mess, but Bulls fans can still have some fun this season watching a former fan-favorite compete on a championship-caliber team.
When the Chicago Bulls are as bad as they are right now, Bulls fans need something to smile about. For a moment, it looked like a Derrick Rose trade to the Los Angeles Lakers was in the cards. Had that happened, it would’ve been a dream come true for tons of Bulls fans. Rose would finally get his shot to play for a championship.
Ultimately, that trade fell through, and Bulls fans were left watching their former superhero play on a dreadful Detroit Pistons team. Sigh.
Now, there’s new hope for Bulls Nation. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Joakim Noah will join the Clippers sometime this week on a 10-day contract. If everything goes well, he’ll likely finish the season with the Clips.
That is fantastic news for Bulls fans. It’s a reason to smile during May and (possibly) June.
Noah looked surprisingly solid last year in his brief stint with the Memphis Grizzlies. He played in 42 games and averaged slightly over 16 minutes per game. In those 16 minutes per game, he gave Memphis over seven points, nearly six rebounds and over two assists. Is he the same guy that made two consecutive All-Star teams in Chicago? Of course not. But he can still give you quality minutes in a reserve role.
The Clippers are gearing up for a deep playoff push. They have two of the best and most versatile wings in the league in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They have a dynamic pick-and-roll ball handler in Lou Williams. They have a quality, high-energy power forward/center in Montrezl Harrell. They have a defensive pest in Patrick Beverley. And they have a ton of interchangeable pieces to rotate through as games go on.
What they don’t have is a lot of size.
As previously mentioned, Harrell is a fantastic player, but he’s 6-foot-8. When he’s not playing, it’s up to Ivica Zubac to handle the opposing team’s big man. That’s probably not an ideal center rotation when trying to handle guys like Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Kristaps Porzingis. They desperately needed to add more size before the playoffs, and Joakim Noah provides them with exactly that.
Is Noah going to play a huge role for the Clips? Probably not. Zubac will likely still start and Harrell will play his normal huge role off the bench. But having Noah on the roster allows the Clips to throw out a huge, resilient, experienced, defensive-minded center to make life tough on opposing bigs.
Don’t be surprised if Noah’s defense ends up swinging a few big playoff games. He still has that in his tank.