The New York Knicks have dealt with distractions in the past with disastrous results. They’re not about to let Joakim Noah repeat that history.
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, the Knicks are “exploring avenues” to part ways with Noah.
Sources: After heated verbal exchange in practice between Joakim Noah and coach Jeff Hornacek last week, the Knicks are exploring avenues to part with Noah. He has two years remaining on the four-year, $72M deal he signed in 2016.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 29, 2018
According to Charania, Noah and head coach Jeff Hornacek had a “fiery exchange” that nearly turned physical in practice the day after the Knicks’ 123-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors. In their West Coast affair with Golden State, Noah played just five minutes.
Noah is currently in the second year of a four-year, $72 million deal. When it comes to ways the Knicks could rid themselves of Noah, there are a few routes they could attempt to take, but all of them would be difficult to execute.
The Knicks could release Noah, but paying him $18 million a year for the next two-and-a-half years to go elsewhere would be far from ideal. Another option for the Knicks would be to use the stretch provision on Noah. Doing so would result in them having to pay the remainder of Noah’s contract over the next five years, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes.
Stretch provision for Joakim Noah would be $7,565,000 over 5 years beginning in 2018-19 and ending in 2022-23. That is a lot of dead cap space for a team likely to have cap flexibility starting in 2020. Cap relief would do little for the Knicks this summer.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 29, 2018
Trading Noah for expiring contracts would be ideal for the Knicks, and according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, they’ve “ramped up” their efforts in doing so. At the same time, it would likely be hard for them to find a team willing to absorb a contract of that magnitude without the Knicks adding some sort of draft compensation — which they would prefer not to do.
This season, Noah has appeared in just seven games. In those appearances, he has averaged 1.7 points, two rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game in 5.7 minutes a night.