Dallas Mavericks, armed with a truckload of cap space, will offer free agent center Joakim Noah a max contract this summer, as per latest NBA Rumors.
The Mavs have barely $28 million in guaranteed salary for the 2016/17 season. While Chandler Parsons, Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki have player options, JJ Barea and Devin Harris are signed to reasonable deals. Since the Mavs will have $60+ million to spend in free agency, signing Noah to a max deal could prove to be a bargain.
Noah is expected to leave Chicago Bulls after spending nine years with the team. Noah is a shadow of the player who won Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, besides finishing third in the MVP voting. However, the Mavericks still view Noah as the solution to fix its defensive woes.
In January, Noah suffered a severe injury to his left shoulder and was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the season. Prior to the injury, Noah had a falling out with new Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, who has copped criticism for the team’s regression since replacing Tom Thibodeau. With Hoiberg expected to retain his job next season, it’s safe to say that Noah wants out of Chicago.
Would thrive under Rick Carlisle…
According to NBA insider David Thorpe, the Mavs would be the perfect landing spot for the former two-time All-Star. “I think his (Noah’s) go-to would be Dallas, who’s so desperate for that kind of energy again on defense. We know Rick Carlisle is so good at creating things and Joakim’s such a great ball handler. I think he would be amazing there,” Thorpe told Zach Lowe in an interview.
According to Thorpe, Noah deserves a max contract. “A year ago he (Noah) was the best center in the league. You max those guys out. Here (in Chicago) he is coming off the bench, he doesn’t score.”
Last month, Mavericks insider Eddie Sefko echoed Thorpe’s views, suggesting that Noah would be a top target in free agency. When asked who among Festus Ezeli, Noah, Jared Sullinger and Timofey Mozgov would fit in with the Mavs, Sefko said, “I’d put Joakim Noah in the lead, although there are so many ifs there. I like Ezeli, but as a young, athletic big guy, he’s going to be in higher demand. Not a big Mozgov fan and Sullinger isn’t going anywhere, I don’t think.”
Joakim Noah would be a significant upgrade from the Mavs’ current solution in the post – Zaza Pachulia. Stay tuned for latest NBA Rumors.