5. Joakim Noah 6’11 230 • Center
Joakim Noah checks in at number five on our list of veteran leader candidates. He’s 34 years old and has been in the league for 12 seasons, nine of which were with the Chicago Bulls.
Noah has never been a big time scorer. Defense is his calling card. He’s a three-time member of the NBA All Defensive Team. He’s also a two-time all-star and was All NBA once.
Joakim had his best season in 2012-13, where he averaged a career best 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists. The 5.4 assists total is rare for a big man, particularly a non scorer, but Noah is a phenomenal passer.
Joakim Noah was thought to be done after the 2017-18 season, as injures and mileage on his body had taken a toll. He posted career worse totals of 1.7 points and two rebounds, in only seven games with the New York Knicks.
Noah bounced back nicely last season to play in 42 games, averaging 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds. That showed that he still has some tread left on the tires.
Noah would also add a rim protector, should he sign with the Atlanta Hawks. He has blocked 1.3 shots per game in his career, with a career best of 2.1 blocks in the 2012-13 season.
Noah is a vocal, fiery leader, a style that would benefit the Hawks. Most importantly he can help coach Lloyd Pierce, drive home the importance of giving maximum effort on defense. Defense is by far the area that Atlanta needs to improve the most.
4. Amare Stoudemire 6’10 245 • Center
Amare Stoudemire is a 14 year NBA player. He’s a six-time all-star and five time All NBA team member. He has not played in the NBA for the last two seasons.
Amare Stoudemire was one of the most athletic big men, that this league has ever seen. He thrilled crowds all across the country with his acrobatic dunks, many of which were assisted by Steve Nash, the man who Trae Young patterns his game after. Stoudemire is the only player I have ever seen, dunk on legendary center Shaquille O’Neal.
Amare once nicknamed himself S.T.A.T, which means standing tall and talented. As a member of the Phoenix Suns he stood tall, averaging 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds over eight seasons.
Stoudemire then signed a maximum contract with the New York Knicks. He played well there as a whole, averaging 17.4 points and 6.9 rebounds over the span of five seasons.
Multiple knee injuries caused Amare to slow down, during the last three seasons of his time in New York. He had the dreaded microfracture knee surgery. That’s the same surgery that ended the career of former number one pick Greg Oden. No NBA player has successfully recovered from that procedure.
Stoudemire spent his final season with the Miami Heat, playing in 52 games. He averaged career lows of 5.8 points and 4.3 boards.
Amare Stoudemire is currently playing in The Big Three league founded by Actor, Director and Rapper Ice Cube. He is playing well in the 3 on 3 league. He’s the second leading scorer, third in rebounds, second in steals and third in blocked shots.
Amare Stoudemire has recently expressed interest in a comeback to the NBA. In fact he recently held a workout for NBA clubs. He expressed interest in teaching the young players how to work. That makes him a good candidate to be a veteran leader for the Atlanta Hawks.