ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced Friday afternoon that former Bulls All-Star Joakim Noah will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers are signing free agent center Joakim Noah, league sources tell ESPN. Noah, a two-time All-Star, is expected to join the team next week.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 6, 2020
The Athletic’s Shams Charania elaborated on the report, adding that Noah will start on a 10-day contract.
Source: Free agent Joakim Noah’s deal with the Clippers will start as a 10-day contract.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 6, 2020
As time passed, it became increasingly unclear if the beloved Chicago big man would ever make his return to the NBA. After a 42-game stint with the Memphis Grizzlies last season that ended with a knee injury, Noah went unsigned over the summer. Rumors swirled about possible interest from the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, but nothing concrete developed.
At least part of the reason for the silence was because of a significant injury he suffered over the offseason. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned a mysterious injury back in November and confirmed Noah was recovering with the hope of signing with a contender.
A couple of months later, Noah clarified on Instagram that he had Achilles surgery and wanted to “get back out there and compete.”
View this post on Instagram
The grind can’t stop. This is all I know. 4 months post achilles surgery and I’m back on the track. My goal is to get back out there and compete. I’ve had many surgeries but coming back from this would be very rewarding. Thanks to the team of specialist who are helping me get better. @xptlife @teammpg @fab9osteopro @speed__doctor @ross.burns @mudrasmassage @chrisjohnsonhoops @andrew_page @axleworkout @lairdsuperfood @alexperris @anjiibaby thanks to my family and friends for dealing with my ups and downs. I love u guys. U know who you are. We are all morning the death of one of the greatest. Thinking about Kobe makes me want to work harder.
Fortunately, Noah’s wish was granted.
Starting with a 10-day contract, obviously, it’s unclear if Noah will make it into the playoffs. But if he’s able to tap into the same 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds he averaged off the bench last season, he could very well have a shot at finishing out the season.
The Clippers have been searching for a potential big man to help counter the Lakers’ frontcourt, and maybe now they’ve got it. As I’m sure you remember, this was part of the reason the team expressed interest in the Bulls’ Thaddeus Young around the trade deadline. I’m really hoping he can carve himself out a role because, as all Bulls fans know, there is nothing quite like a Joakim Noah-LeBron James matchup.
And if for some reason you don’t know what I’m talking about, I recommend watching this:
Anyway, Bulls play the Clippers in LA on April 6th!