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Stein: New Zealand Breakers on campaign to recruit Joakim Noah
The NBA hype continues to rise for the NBL, as a new candidate emerges for the SKY Sport Breakers' import spot.
According to The New York Times' Marc Stein, Breakers owner Mat Walsh, who is Joakim Noah's former teammate in college, is leading the recruitment drive for the big man.
Following his extensive career with the Derrick Rose-era Chicago Bulls, Noah spent two seasons with the New York Knicks and made a successful comeback with the Memphis Grizzlies. He played 42 games, averaging 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds. 2.1 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.7 blocks in 16.5 minutes in the NBA 2018/19 season.
"I lost my confidence," said Noah last season. "Now I am starting to get my swagger back on the court. Memphis gave me an opportunity; that was the only team that called. I am starting to feel better and better every time I step on the court because I am playing consistently and I am healthy for the first time in a long time, knock on wood."
Noah would be a legitimate force in the NBL, whose agility and passing instincts would put him above the typical screen and roll big man in the league, with Andrew Bogut being a good comparison. Noah will similarly benefit from having a lighter season schedule. He would function as a high-level defensive anchor and rebounding presence, while acting as a high post playmaker, or set solid screens on dribble handoffs for his guards.
Stein however, has pointed out that NBA teams are interested in Noah, and that the centre would be taking a "selective" approach to his next stop.