With Dallas Mavericks big man Dwight Powell out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, a new report suggests that the team is considering replacing him with veteran Joakim Noah. Noah remains an unsigned free agent with less than 40 games remaining for most teams in the 2019-20 NBA regular season.
In a tweet posted on Wednesday night, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported that the Mavericks “touched base” with Noah in an attempt to upgrade their rotation at center following Powell’s injury. He added, however, that Dallas is considering other alternatives, including those who are currently playing in the G League or overseas, due to the team’s concerns with the 34-year-old former Defensive Player of the Year’s well-documented injury history.
Although he was one of the league’s top defensive players and an all-around contributor from the center position with the Chicago Bulls, injuries limited Noah to just 53 games in his two seasons with the New York Knicks, as shown on his Basketball-Reference player page. He did, however, show some flashes of his old brilliance after he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies for the 2018-19 season, averaging 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 42 games.
Despite rumors linking him to teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, Noah went unsigned as the season started. As pointed out by Bleacher Report, the former first-round draft pick out of the University of Florida suffered another injury last summer but was healthy again in November and hoping to play for a contending team.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 22, 2020
Talking about the Mavericks’ options without Powell, the publication explained that the organization will have to free up a roster spot in order to sign Noah — or anyone else they may consider as a replacement for the injured center/forward. At the moment, 7-foot-3-inch backup center Boban Marjanovic could benefit from some additional exposure, though Bleacher Report warned that his minutes have traditionally been limited throughout his NBA career.
Other alternatives mentioned included erstwhile Sacramento Kings big man Dewayne Dedmon and former Houston Rockets reserve Donatas Motiejunas, who is still playing in the Chinese Basketball Association and not yet available to be signed as a free agent.
Although he may give the team an All-Star-caliber presence in the middle, Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond appears to be a long shot at this point, in the event the Mavericks aren’t able to come to terms with Noah. According to The Dallas Morning News, team officials are still adamant that the Pistons star won’t be a good fit for the Mavs “tactically or financially.”