Knicks Cut Joakim Noah After Reportedly Failing to Agree to Buyout

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2018

New York Knicks' Joakim Noah (13) walks to the bench during a time out in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The New York Knicks announced on Saturday that they waived Joakim Noah after being unable to find a trade partner for the veteran center ahead of the 2018-19 NBA regular season.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the Knicks would waive Noah via the stretch provision after the sides were unable to reach a buyout agreement. According to Wojnarowski, Noah will have a cap hit of $6.4 million for three straight seasons starting in 2019-20. 

Steve Popper of NewsDay.com added: "The [Noah] release leaves the Knicks with a three-year hit of the $19 million remaining on his 2019-20 contract. Waiting past this season's deadline made it just one year." 

The Knicks' decision to move forward without Noah was long expected. Wojnarowski and Ian Begley of ESPN.com reported in early August the franchise was planning to waive him if a deal couldn't be found, and that's what happened.

Noah failed to meet expectations after New York signed him to a four-year, $72.6 million contract in July 2016. He leaves the organization with two seasons left on that deal.

The 33-year-old University of Florida standout missed the end of his debut campaign with the Knicks after undergoing knee surgery. He proceeded to receive a 20-game suspension for a violation of the NBA's anti-drug policy and required offseason shoulder surgery on a torn rotator cuff.

He returned to action in November 2017 after completing his recovery and the ban, but he ended up making just seven appearances last season before leaving the team following an argument with head coach Jeff Hornacek, who was ultimately fired in April.

In July, Noah told TMZ Sports he wanted to stay with the Knicks following the coaching change to David Fizdale, adding, "I love New York!"

"Coach Fiz is cool, man," he said.

Noah averaged 4.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 49.1 percent from the field across 53 appearances in two seasons with the Knicks.

He would have been buried on the depth chart behind Kristaps Porzingis, Enes Kanter, Lance Thomas, Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson when everyone is healthy.

Instead, the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year will seek a new team where he can earn a more prominent role and potentially enjoy a bounce-back season.

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