The Bulls hired Billy Donovan on Tuesday, and some of the immediate reaction involved the idea of bringing Joakim Noah back. Donovan coached Noah during their national championship days at Florida, so there’s obviously a relationship there.
This might just be the meatball in me, but I would truly love to see it. Bringing Noah back into the fold to be a trusted veteran presence to help mentor Wendell Carter Jr. and be the “Udonis Haslem for the Bulls” would get me fired up.
Noah has already given quotes about the Donovan hire:
Just talked to Joakim Noah: "I'm happy for the Bulls organization. They're getting a great coach, someone who is an unbelievable motivator and someone who is family to me."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 22, 2020
Joakim Noah: "Coach Donovan is somebody who is going to hold his players accountable and is somebody who can relate to his players while keeping a relationship with the guys. That’s a tough balance. But he’s proven he’s been able to do it time and time again."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 22, 2020
Noah joined the Los Angeles Clippers right before the NBA went on hiatus in March. He actually looked pretty solid with the Memphis Grizzlies last season, but an Achilles injury kept him off a roster until the Clippers picked him up. The veteran appeared in five regular-season games in the bubble but played just two playoff minutes. I was hoping to see Noah get a chance to goon it up a bit against Nikola Jokic, but alas, he wasn’t even active for Game 7.
Noah has a non-guaranteed contract with the Clippers for next season. Perhaps they keep him around as a veteran presence in the frontcourt. However, if he becomes available after this Clippers collapse, I’d love to see the Bulls look into bringing him back. I know the Bulls already have a bunch of centers on the roster and shouldn’t really be using a roster spot on a glorified cheerleader/player-coach given the state of their roster, but in this circumstance I can make an exception.
Hell, if Noah is actually done as a player, maybe Donovan brings him aboard his coaching staff. Either way, I’m all aboard the Bring Back Joakim Noah Bandwagon.