Joakim Noah and the Memphis Grizzlies were reportedly in ‘extensive discussions’ to have the former All-Star center join the team, according to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times last week.
There have been “extensive discussions” between the Grizzlies and Noah in recent days, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 19, 2018
Though Stein reported earlier this week that it looked like the Grizzlies and Noah were nearing a deal, an agreement seemed as imminent as ever following an extended pursuit. According to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Saturday, the Grizzlies and Noah were expected to agree to a deal sometime this week.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 24, 2018
Charania wrapped up the reporting on Noah’s deal by reporting that the two sides did agree to a contract on Friday morning.
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, 33, hasn’t played an NBA game since November 27, 2017. On October 13th of this year, Noah was released by the New York Knicks with the team using a stretch-provision waiver. The end of the relationship with the team seemingly came to a tipping point when Noah clashed with head coach Jeff Hornacek last year.
Basically, as soon as Phil Jackson, the executive who was in charge of him getting his big contract, left the organization, things with the team and Noah went south. Noah also underwent separate surgeries to repair injuries to his shoulder and knee and he was also suspended for violating the NBA’s drug policy.
During his NBA career, Noah was a two-time all-star (2013/2014), NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2014) and a member of the All-NBA First Team (2014).
The Grizzlies could use a backup center behind all-star Marc Gasol, who is the only real center on the roster. Jaren Jackson Jr isn’t quite ready for the task of being an everyday center in the NBA yet. Memphis has been a surprise thus far this season with an 11-5 record this season. They’re tied with the Portland Trailblazers and Los Angeles Clippers for the first seed in the Western Conference.