The Washington Wizards are going to go after Joakim Noah hard when free agency starts. Mitch Lawrence of Sports Illustrated reports the Wizards are prepared to offer the longtime Chicago Bulls center a full maximum contract.
Noah, 31, is coming off shoulder surgery. He played only 29 games last season.
The Wizards are not the only team interested.
The New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks are also planning to make substantial offers to Noah, per Lawrence.
The Knicks acquired point guard Derrick Rose from Chicago in a trade earlier this week, and rumor has it Noah might want to join his former teammate in New York. From Ian Begley of ESPN.com:
There are people in the Knicks organization who’d like to pursue Joakim Noah in free agency. And the interest seems to be mutual. People familiar with the situation say the Knicks are one team that Noah will be interested in in free agency. It will be key to find a contract that works for both sides, obviously. But Derrick Rose and Noah are close; Noah also has a good relationship with Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls center also grew up in New York and attended high school in Brooklyn. Also, for those interested in such things, Rose and Noah have been spotted in NYC together in the last 24 hours.
It’s hard to believe why anyone would pay a 31-year-old big man coming off shoulder surgery that kind of money, but Noah, the Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, can still get it done on the defensive end, and coaches like his toughness and experience.
Per Lawrence, Noah has no intentions of re-signing in Chicago and is ready to move on.