The Knicks assigned Joakim Noah and Damyean Dotson to the Westchester Knicks so that they could play in the team’s G-League game Wednesday.
Newsday‘s Al Iannazzone broke the news. Both players are expected to rejoin the Knicks for their game against Miami this evening.
Knicks assign Joakim Noah and Damyean Dotson to Westchester for this morning's game. Both are expected back for knicks game vs. Miami tonight.
— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) November 29, 2017
Dotson’s assignment is no surprise. The rookie isn’t getting much action in the NBA, so any playing time he can get in Madison Square Garden or the Westchester County Center is a positive. Noah’s assignment to the Westchester Knicks, however, is a bit more complex.
This is a very interesting move by the Knicks and could signal a change in the way NBA teams operate. The NBA is trying to continue to grow the G-League and make it more relevant. This assignment has the feel of an MLB rehab assignment. Noah recently returned from a 20-game suspension for over-the-counter supplements. He did not immediately suit up for the Knicks and the coaching staff wanted to bring him back slowly.
The Knicks front line was a bit thinner after starting center Enes Kanter was sidelined for three games with back spasms. Noah only played three minutes in his season debut against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. Clearly, the Knicks coaching staff didn’t like what they saw in Noah’s limited playing time. He needs reps and luckily for the Knicks, this was an option.
Noah will likely be the highest paid player on a G-League roster this season, and possibly ever. He is currently in the second year of a four-year deal and he will be making nearly $18 million this year. He’s the second highest paid Knick on the roster behind the aforementioned Kanter.
With Kanter expected back for the Knicks’ game tonight, today’s game in Westchester is probably the best chance Knicks fans will have to see either Dotson or Noah get any serious playing time.