Before his team fell to the Lakers’ Sunday, Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers joked he couldn’t talk about the “mysterious” player the Clippers might sign soon. Even though it had been reported and everyone knew he was talking about Joakim Noah.
Monday it became official, Noah signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers.
“Joakim is a relentless competitor and a proven winner,” said Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank. “His experience, acumen and toughness fit well in our locker room.”
A day after a game that showed the Clippers will need all the size and defense they can find to deal with the size and athleticism of the Lakers, this is a good, low-risk signing by the Clippers.
The Clippers have their big man rotation with Ivica Zubac as a solid starter and potential Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell coming off the bench for 18.7 points and 7.1 rebounds a night. Noah provides some depth and a chance to get those guys rest down the stretch.
Noah had a solid second half of last season with Memphis, coming off the bench and providing good defense plus 7.1 points per game. He was moving reasonably well and fit in as a role player at 16.5 minutes a night. The Clippers will not ask that much of the former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year, but if they can get anywhere close to that production it will be a win for them. If not, it’s a 10-day contract and the Clippers move on.
While this is a 10-day, don’t be surprised if it becomes a second 10-day and then a regular contract (barring something unforeseen that forces the Clippers to go another direction with their open roster spot).