One of the biggest needs the Wizards will need to fill this summer is at backup center. They need someone dependable down low who can fill in for Marcin Gortat when needed and perhaps provide a little extra on the defensive end when needed.
The first name to pop up in the rumor mill certainly addresses one of those concerns, but definitely not the other:
Free agency buzz, which comes fast: can add the Wizards to the list of teams with interest in Noah. He'll have a few suitors. #twolves— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) June 22, 2016
It would be a nice little coup if the Wizards could get Noah, the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, to backup Marcin Gortat without breaking the bank. Plus, if he can regain some of his form on the offensive end from that season, he’d also provide a nice spark on the defensive end as well.
However, if the Wizards are looking for someone with a better track record of staying healthy than Nene, Noah isn’t the right guy. He’s only played in more than 70 games twice in his career and missed most of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Plus, he was a bit of disaster last season, if we’re being frank. His numbers dropped across the board, particularly when it came to shooting the ball. He only shot 38.3 percent from the field and 48.9 percent from the charity stripe. And it’s not as if Noah was experimenting with adding a three-pointer to his arsenal last season. His shot chart shows he just couldn’t finish inside, which is not good when you’re a center:
If Noah can return from surgery and be a competent version of his younger self at the right price, he would be a great piece next season. But considering the Wizards’ luck with players coming off season-ending surgery and Scott Brooks’ blind spot for veteran big men who hustle but struggle offensively, Noah is one of the more unsettling options to replace Nene as the team’s backup center next season.