Not so long ago, Joakim Noah used to be one of the best big men in the league, a top-tier defender with outstanding playmaking ability and one of the most passionate and vocal leaders you’d find on the league.
Sadly for him, the move that sent him to the New York Knicks made his career took a major hit, spending the most time on the shelf due to injury and then being suspended by the league, up to the point where he’s not even in the team’s rotation.
Also, following a heated altercation between him and coach Hornacek, it’s pretty much a fact that he’s not going to play for the Knicks again, and he’s one of the prime buyout candidates entering the last passage of the season, as he was virtually untradable due to his terrible contract.
So now, there are several teams that are willing to give then veteran and former Defensive Player of the Year a shot, and he’d be thrilled to go back to the hardwood, especially for a contending side. Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 landing spots for him if he’s bought out
5. Golden State Warriors
Even if Jo has only been able to make 7 appearances throughout the entire campaign, if there’s a team capable of making anyone look good, that’s the Dubs, and he’d be a major upgrade over Zaza Pachulia anyways.
Noah thrives while sharing the wealth and he’s a terrific passer and playmaking at the 5, so he’d have a hell of a time with all the ball movement the Golden State Warriors embrace on a nightly basis.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder is in desperate need for a couple of things: defense and depth, and Joakim Noah may be the answer to both of those issues, being a major defensive upgrade over both Patrick Patterson and Jerami Grant, who get most backup center minutes for OKC.
Also, with George or Carmelo always on the court for the Thunder, they’d have a deadly pick and pop player in Noah, a guy that can always find the open teammate and that has just that kind of competitive spirit that can help this team in crunch time.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
This one may be extremely tricky but would make a lot of sense for both parties. See, Joakim Noah has never hesitated to let everybody know he just hates LeBron James and the city of Cleveland, but this could be his best shot at reaching the NBA Finals.
Cleveland lacks depth at the 5 spot and Noah is a much better defender and passer than Tristan Thompson, so he could shift to the starting unit next to Kevin Love while Thompson leads the bench alongside Larry Nance Jr.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
Joakim Noah’s prime came under Tom Thibodeau’s tutelage, and he has always had a lot of high praise for the defensive-minded coach that’s now running the Minnesota Timberwolves, so it would make a lot of sense if he decides to be a part of that reunion also featuring Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler.
Noah knows Thibodeau’s system and the Timberwolves have been lacking a rim protector all season long, with Karl-Anthony Towns struggling on that end of the floor and Gorgui Dieng regressing a lot, and with Minnesota trying to get a grab onto the 3rd spot in the West, this would be a very interesting move.
1. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are on the verge of one of the best seasons they’ve had in the last decade, but their defense has taken a major hit since the start of the year and Joakim Noah could definitely help Brad Stevens’ squad in that regard.
A backup frontcourt featuring Noah and Theis or Baynes would be a defensive beauty, and pairing him with Al Horford at times could allow them to really stretch the floor and open up space for Jaylen’s drives or Tatum’s and Kyrie’s sharpshooting from beyond the arc.