Joakim Noah Wouldn’t Be a Savior


A lot has been made of the 2016 NBA free agency class. Headlined by Kevin Durant, this class can and will shake the core of the NBA pretty substantially. And with the salary cap significantly rising next year, we’re going to see some serious money being thrown around to even B-level guys.

The Timberwolves have a couple glaring needs that they need to address this offseason. For one, another point guard wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially one that could give incumbent starter Ricky Rubio some competition for the first time in his NBA career. Another defensive-minded wing would be helpful to plug alongside Andrew Wiggins because, let’s be honest, Tayshaun Prince ain’t the Prince of old anymore.

To me, more important than anything else is finding another big man to plug into a rotation between Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng. With offensive firepower coming from both of those options, the Timberwolves would be blessed to find a gritty defensive stud, who can protect the paint more than anything else.

Enter Joakim Noah.

The looming free agent has allegedly informed his teammates that he will not be returning to the Chicago Bulls next season, while other reports say the two sides are coming closer and closer to a new agreement. Whatever the case might be, Noah is bound to at least be on the free market, if not for a brief stint.

Noah fits the build on the nose for what the Timberwolves are looking for. He’s undoubtedly been one of the NBA’s elite big man defenders since entering the league and has always played a huge part in the Bulls’ regular – and postseason – success.

But not so fast. Personally, I have some qualms with the idea of throwing big money at Noah to fill the void of a defensive-minded center.

First is the fact that Noah struggles to stay healthy. No unlike another big man, Nikola Pekovic — who’s still on the roster albeit, — Noah hasn’t played one full season in the NBA in his nine year career. Sure, two seasons he fell just two games short but it’s more about recognizing last season, where Noah played just 29 games with a shoulder injury. Noah’s not getting any younger and the thought of an aging center with debilitating injuries brings up too many ill-thoughts of Pekovic and what could’ve been. If the Timberwolves throw loads of money at Noah to come to Minnesota, only to see him play half a season at best, would it really be any different than keeping Pekovic?

Secondly, and this is more of a guess than anything, but I have a very hard time seeing Noah and Kevin Garnett EVER getting along. Garnett is likely planning on coming back next season to cash in on the second year of his two-year deal and sealing up his career with a farewell tour of the NBA. Garnett and Noah have never seen eye-to-eye to say the least. Now put these two fiery characters on the same team and see what happens. Doesn’t seem like a recipe for success if you ask me.

What it really comes down to for me is whether or not he can justify the potentially huge money for Noah. He’s aging, not always healthy, a complete head case and more.

But, if you think he can tone things down but still be the absolutely force we need him to be on defense, then perhaps all my words and worries are moot. Only time will tell.

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