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Houston Rockets Should Target Free Agent Joakim Noah

Dec 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) dunks against the Detroit Pistons during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) dunks against the Detroit Pistons during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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With their defensive anchor ready to depart from Clutch City. Perhaps it would be in the Rockets best interest to acquire Joakim Noah this summer.

After losing his starting spot in mid-October, Joakim Noah‘s relationship with the Chicago Bulls organization has been on the rocks all season.

In addition to their rocky relationship, multiple sources also confirmed that Noah was never the biggest fan of Chicago’s first-year head coach Fred Hoiberg. While in the final year of his contract, there has been many speculations rather Noah would return or depart from the Windy City this summer.

After the NBA was hit by another bombshell Wednesday afternoon, it’s safe to say that all speculations have ceased.

According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Time’s. The All-Star center has told multiple teammates that he is done with the organization once fee agency begins, and has no trust in the front office.

With Noah set to hit free agency in July. The Houston Rockets should do everything in their power to acquire the former Defensive Player of the Year.

Of course, adding Noah to the team will not upgrade Houston’s offense. After all, for a team who averaged 106.5 points on 45 percent shooting. Upgrading their offense should not be Houston’s primary focus this summer.

But, coming off one of their worst defensive performances in franchise history, acquiring Noah would definitely upgrade the Rockets defense.

This past season, Houston allowed their opponents to score an averaged 106.4 points per game, while shooting 45.9 percent from the field. According to ESPN’s 2016 Defensive Team Stats, only the Pelicans, Lakers, Suns, 76ers, and Kings defense ranked lower. However, with Noah down low, Houston’s opponents would find it difficult to score.

Since 2011, the Bulls’ defense ranked among the top five in the league. A huge portion of their gritty defense came from Noah.

According to the NBA Player Tracking stats, since 2013 Noah has held his opponents to 43 percent shooting. His lowest percentage came during the 2014-15 season when he held his opponents to a career-low 41 percent from the field.

This season marked the first time in the last five years Chicago’s defense failed to crack the top 10. With Noah only appearing in 28 games played a primary factor in Chicago’s collapse on that end of the court.

Although he missed more than half of the season, Noah still gave his all when on the court. This season he held his opponents to 42.4 percent shooting.

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Acquiring Noah would also bring more energy and a toughness that only a few players possess in the league today.

The only downside to signing Noah is gambling on his injury. The nine-year veteran suffered a shoulder injury in a mid season showdown against the Dallas Mavericks. Following the surgery, Noah was forced to miss the remainder of the season.

It’s easy to look at Noah’s numbers and say his best days are behind him. Yet due to the changes the Bulls made to their offense along with his shoulder injury it’s easily understandable why he  had the worst season of his career.

Once he returns to full health, perhaps a change of scenery is all Noah needs to return as a top-tier big man in this league. Perhaps that change could be in Clutch City.

Next: Complete list of 2016 -2017 Free Agents

Next: Rockets Fans Speak - the Series

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