Knicks Rumors: Joakim Noah to Be Released Before Opener Unless Trade Emerges

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 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 set to release veteran center Joakim Noah next week after his two years with the organization if last-ditch efforts to find a trade partner are unsuccessful. 

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News provided the update Tuesday, which falls in line with all of the prior reporting on the subject throughout the 2018 NBA offseason.

Noah has failed to deliver the production the Knicks expected when they signed him to a four-year, $72.6 million contract in July 2016. He has two seasons left on that deal with his release likely looming.

The University of Florida product averaged 4.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists across 53 appearances for New York.

His debut campaign with the team was cut short by knee surgery and a 20-game suspension (part of which he served in 2017-18) for a violation of the NBA's anti-drug policy. After offseason shoulder surgery and completing the ban, he returned to the Knicks last November but made just seven sporadic appearances before leaving the team.

In July, Noah told TMZ Sports he "for sure" wanted to remain with the Knicks after they hired new head coach David Fizdale.

"I love New York!" he said.

Getting released was always the more likely outcome given his lack of production and the absence of a path to consistent playing time during the 2018-19 season.

Kristaps Porzingis—once he's recovered from a torn ACL—and Enes Kanter are the Knicks' projected frontcourt starters with Lance Thomas, Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson battling for minutes off the bench. It would have left little opportunity for the 33-year-old veteran Noah.

Although Noah didn't provide much impact for the Knicks, his track record is strong with two All-Star Game selections, two NBA All-Defensive First Team choices and an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2013-14 season while with the Chicago Bulls.

That could make him a buy-low candidate to fill a reserve role for a contender if he does hit the free-agent market after the roster deadline Oct. 15.   

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