Knicks Rumors: Joakim Noah Exit Targeted After Jeff Hornacek Confrontation

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2018

New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Wizards won 104-100. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are reportedly looking for ways to part with center Joakim Noah, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Noah apparently had a "heated verbal exchange" with head coach Jeff Hornacek, which likely led to his recent departure from the team for "personal reasons." The veteran has appeared in just seven games this season.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the two sides will talk later this week to discuss his return to the team.

As Ian Begley and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported, Noah has been away from the Knicks as he awaits his next move, although there has been no discussion about a buyout. He has two years remaining on his four-year, $72 million contract after this season.

That financial burden limits the Knicks' options.

While the organization would love to trade the 32-year-old before the Feb. 8 deadline, it won't be easy to convince another team to take on more than $37 million over the next two years. Considering his lack of production, this challenge is even tougher.

Noah has fallen behind Enes Kanter, Kyle O'Quinn and Willy Hernangomez on the depth chart at center, leaving him to play just 40 minutes the whole year. He has scored 12 total points.

Even when he was getting playing time last season, he wasn't very effective with an average of 5.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in 46 starts. The two-time All-Star is far from the player he once was and now has off-court problems to deal with, including the recent altercation with Hornacek and a suspension for violating the league's drug policy.

If the Knicks have any chance of removing the contract from their books, they will need to package him with a quality asset, like an early draft pick or a talented young player.  

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