Joakim Noah Rumors: Warriors, Timberwolves, Thunder Interested in Knicks C

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 12: Joakim Noah #13 of the New York Knicks warms up before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 12, 2018 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder are among the teams interested in signing Joakim Noah should he negotiate a buyout with the New York Knicks.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported "several playoff-bound teams" are monitoring Noah's status in New York. The veteran center has been away from the team since getting into an argument with coach Jeff Hornacek at a practice last month.

Hornacek told reporters Tuesday the team has "moved on" and said he does not expect Noah back with the team.

"That's something that happened three weeks ago, four weeks ago. We handled that thing with Jo," Hornacek said of the incident. "It's not finalized because he's still on the roster. We've dealt with that situation. There's really nothing more to say about it."

Noah, who turns 33 on Sunday, played in just seven games this season before leaving the team, averaging 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds. He is in the second year of a four-year, $72 million contract, a deal considered arguably the worst in the NBA. He was limited to 46 disappointing games in 2016-17 due to injury and returned this season out of the rotation.

The Timberwolves have a natural connection to Noah, as they're coached by former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Noah and Thibodeau had the best years of their career together in Chicago, as the former won Defensive Player of the Year and earned first-team All-NBA honors in 2013-14.

Thibodeau has already acquired former Bulls Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Aaron Brooks since taking over basketball operations in Minnesota.

The Warriors are a natural fit for any championship-chasing veteran, and Noah's passing ability fits in with their unselfish culture. There's also no real downside if he signs with Golden State and it doesn't work out.

The Thunder could use Noah as a backup behind Steven Adams to prop up the defense on the second unit.

But it's fair to wonder how much—if anything—Noah has to give on the court given his age and recent injury history.

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