Former Chicago Bulls: Joakim Noah ‘as ready’ as he can be with Clippers

Joakim Noah (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joakim Noah (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

A former defensive standout center of the Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah is about to get a shot at title contention this year with the Clippers.

One of the most popular former Chicago Bulls players of the last 15 years finally has his name permanently taken off the free agent market. Former NBA Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All-Star selection Joakim Noah looks to be inked down for a while after he was a free agent for much of the current season.

According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic back on June 20, Noah was planning to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers as his deal expired on June 23. That deal was supposed to take Noah through the rest of the 2019-20 season, with games planned to start on July 30 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, with the NBA’s “bubble” plan.

He wound up signing a deal that will take him through the 2019-20 season with the Clippers, and has a non-guaranteed part of the contract that lasts through next season. According to a report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Noah said he’s “as ready as he can be” to finish out the 2019-20 season with another shot at contention with a very talented team.

Noah didn’t play in any games with the Clippers prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic-induced NBA season hiatus. The last games he played in the NBA came with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2018-19 season. He played in 42 games in a Grizzlies uniform last season (starting in one of them). Noah averaged 7.1 points per game, 5.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.7 blocks.

There is now a three-man center rotation that the Clippers have. The starting spot could form a competition between Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell. Noah should occupy that third spot in the center rotation. He could also allow Harrell to slide over and play some minutes at the four if the Clippers so desire.

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The Bulls finished out the 2019-20 season with a record of 22-43. They won’t be playing in the NBA’s season restart at Disney World next month. Meanwhile, the Clippers enter the restart with 44 wins and a legit shot at an NBA Championship.