As reported a few moments ago by Shams, Joakim Noah has agreed to a one year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Noah took the Vet Minimum in order to backup Marc Gasol, who may have or may not have injured his ankle (depends who you ask). To me, this is a dumb move. The Knicks were paying Noah millions just to stay away from the team, so why did Memphis take him? The answer is pretty easy, Gasol can’t play 40 minutes a game.
Marc Gasol is one of the most dominant big men in the NBA, but he’s getting up there in age. Noah fills the slot of a backup perfectly. When he was in Chicago, he was the first player since the Jordan era to make All-Defensive first team. He is one of five NBA players of all time to win a NCAA title, top 5 MVP vote, All-Defensive 1st team, and all NBA. The other four are Jerry West, Bill Walton, Anthony Davis and Hakeem Olajuwan. Noah gives Memphis a defensive edge, which is their style of basketball. Ultimately, this is a good move by Memphis, if it pays off. We’ll be able to tell soon, but if it doesn’t they should start selling.
Memphis is currently 12-8 and leading the Southwest division by 1.5 games. They have been a nice surprise this season, which makes my preseason prediction of them beating the Warriors more relevant. Conley is putting up another stellar season, averaging 20 PPG and 6.6 assists. Gasol is averaging 18 and 9, which could improve but it seems to be working. The surprise star of the Grizzlies lies within Jaren Jackson Jr. The Grizzlies could end up being a 4/5 seed in the playoffs, especially with how bad the West looks right now. This Noah signing can shake everything up.