When the Knicks signed Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72 million contract in the summer of 2016, many analysts and prognosticators thought it was a big mistake. They were right.
Noah, now 33, has been unable to regain his health and return to being anywhere close to the rim protecting, glass cleaning, high-level passer and heart of a team that he was at his peak as a Chicago Bull.
He has played 53 games in two seasons with the Knicks, averaging 4.6 points and 7.9 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game. Not exactly what you’re hoping for when you pay a center $18 million annually by average.
Despite the fact that former head coach Jeff Hornacek is now out as head coach, Noah and Hornacek clashed incessantly and Noah was sent away from the team, it is still unlikely that Noah suits up as a Knick next season.
From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“Sources indicate the likeliest scenario still is Noah becoming a stretch-provision waiver at the Sept. 1 landmark date”
Using the stretch provision to waive Noah on September 1 means that they would pay his entire salary of $18.5 million for the 2018-19 season and would stretch out the final year and $19.3 million of his contract over three seasons.
That would mean the Knicks would pay $6.4 million for the following three seasons as dead money on their salary cap.
Things have really gone south for Noah who was a 1st-Team All-NBA center just five years ago.
It is doubtful the Knicks find a trade partner for Noah before that time unless they are willing to offer up 1st round draft pick compensation, which as a rebuilding team they are likely not willing to do.
Noah’s days in the NBA feel numbered.