The Memphis Grizzlies, looking for depth behind an impressive front line of Marc Gasol (in the running early for Defensive Player of the Year and playing at an All-NBA level) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (in the Rookie of the Year mix), are rolling the dice on Joakim Noah. It’s a low risk, high reward play but the Grizzlies are making it.
As had been reported was likely, the Grizzlies and Noah have agreed to terms on a deal, which will be signed early next week, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian.
This is for a veteran minimum deal, as expected.
While the Grizzlies starting frontcourt is dominating, things get thin behind them. JaMychal Green is playing well off the bench behind them (when he’s healthy), but he’s the only guy coach J.B. Bickerstaff can really lean on.
The hope is Joakim Noah still has enough in the tank to help a little.
Can he? The fact Memphis prefers a slow, grinding game should help, as will the fact not much will be asked of him. What Noah has left is the unknown. Noah has played in just 53 games over his last couple of years in New York and in limited minutes often when he did play. However, the larger concern is that when he did play he has looked slow and nothing like the former Defensive Player of the Year. Maybe that was health and rust.
Memphis is about to find out.