NBA Rumors: Timberwolves Not Planning to Pursue Joakim Noah After Luol Deng Deal

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 18:  Joakim Noah #13 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on December 18, 2017 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brock Williams-Smith/Getty Images

Tom Thibodeau has brought a number of former Chicago Bulls players to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he has apparently drawn the line at Joakim Noah.

Two days after the Timberwolves announced the signing of Luol Deng, the New York Times' Marc Stein reported on Wednesday that Minnesota has "no current plans to pursue Joakim Noah should Noah part ways with the Knicks in the near future as expected."

Noah is still under contract with the Knicks and would earn a little more than $37.7 million before hitting free agency in 2020. In all likelihood, Noah will hit the open market well before that.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley reported in August the Knicks plan on waiving Noah and using the stretch provision if they can't move him in a trade.

It's easy to make the "TimberBulls" jokes because Minnesota is looking like Thibodeau's old Bulls teams. The Timberwolves signed Deng, having already acquired Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler.

For the most part, the Timberwolves could justify those moves. Butler was an All-Star in his first season with the team and Gibson became a valuable contributor in the starting rotation. Even taking a flier on Deng for a one-year, $2.4 million non-guaranteed deal makes sense because he was solid when he was last a regular rotation player in 2016-17.

Noah, on the other hand, has played just 82 games over the past three seasons. He had knee surgery in February 2017 and appeared in seven games in 2017-18 before he and the Knicks agreed to his indefinite leave while an official departure could be finalized.

The Timberwolves already have Karl-Anthony Towns, who's coming off his first All-Star appearance and is the franchise's cornerstone. And Gorgui Dieng—for all of his faults—is a better backup center than Noah.

There simply isn't a compelling reason to think Noah would be a worthwhile addition for a Timberwolves team looking to build on a 2018 playoff appearance.

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