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Clippers sign Joakim Noah through next season

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A great move

LA Clippers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Joakim Noah hasn’t even played a game for the Clippers, but the team is clearly very high on him. Last night, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweeted that the Clippers have not only signed Noah for the remainder of this season, but also through all of next season too.

Here is the official press release from the Clippers:

The L.A. Clippers have signed free agent Joakim Noah to a new contract, it was announced today by Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Noah, who signed a 10-Day contract with the Clippers on March 9, is a two-time NBA All-Star (2013, 2014) and former NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2014). He appeared in 42 games last season for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 7.1 points, 2.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds. The 6’11”, 230-pound center holds career averages of 8.8 points, 2.8 assists and 9.1 rebounds in 667 appearances across 12 NBA seasons with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Grizzlies. Before being selected by Chicago with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Noah played three collegiate seasons at the University of Florida, leading the Gators to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007.

In March, the Clippers signed Noah to a 10-day contract. Then, you know, Covid happened. A week ago, the team announced that they planned to sign Noah for the remainder of the season. Now, they’ve decided to bring him back for next season as well. Again, all this before Noah has even played a game for the team.

Noah isn’t the player he once was. The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013-2014, Noah was one of the best defenders in the league during the early days of his career. However, the Clippers don’t need that from him at all. At the age of 35, Noah still has some left in the tank, and he can be a valuable asset to the Clippers, especially as a bench piece.

The last time we saw Noah play was in 2018 as a member of the Grizzlies. In 16.5 minutes a night, he averaged seven points and six rebounds. I’m not sure the amount of playing time he’ll receive, but I know that the Clippers will take that from a backup big in a heartbeat. Noah will be able to give the Clippers great minutes off the bench when Ivica Zubac subs out or if he gets into foul trouble. This is also a great move in case the Clippers don’t bring back Montrezl Harrell next season. Now, they have a backup big for their postseason run this year and a solidified backup for their team next year.

Again, we still need to see Noah play and see if he has anything left in the tank. But, overall, I think this will turn out to be a really solid move for the Clippers.

Noah posted this to Instagram today.