The New York Knicks are still planning to sever ties with center Joakim Noah ahead of training camp, according to a report from ESPN on Wednesday.
The report says the Knicks will use their waive-and-stretch provision to cut Noah sometime after Sept. 1, provided they haven’t found a trade partner for the beleaguered 33-year-old prior to then.
Under the waive-and-stretch provision, the Knicks would be able to lessen the cap hit of the two years and $37.8 million left on Noah’s contract by spreading his $19.3 million 2019-20 salary over three seasons.
Noah effectively was exiled from the Knicks in late January after he got into a verbal altercation with then-head coach Jeff Hornacek during a practice on Jan. 24 that required the two to be separated. That came a day after Noah yelled expletives at his coach upon being removed from a game against the Golden State Warriors. The sides announced a “mutually” agreed upon indefinite leave for Noah on Feb. 2, which he never returned from.
New coach David Fizdale, who was hired in May, told reporters he might meet with Noah during the offseason, but any scenario regarding management opting to bring the former Defensive Player of the Year back into the fold has yet to gain traction, according to the report.
The Knicks pursued trades involving Noah ahead of the February deadline but were unable to find any suitable options, as teams have been reluctant to take on the remaining money owed Noah’s way. That hasn’t changed this offseason, as the Knicks haven’t been willing to trade future assets in a salary dump and haven’t come close to finding a deal, according to the report.
Noah played in just seven games in the 2017-18 season, all off the bench, while averaging 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 5.7 minutes per game. He averaged 5.0 points and 8.8 rebounds in 46 games (all starts) in 2016-17, his first year with the Knicks.
A two-time All-Star, Noah has battled injuries throughout his career, limiting him to less than 70 games in eight of the last nine seasons.
—Field Level Media