The New York Knicks will reportedly part ways with Joakim Noah if they are unable to find a trade partner for the veteran center before training camp opens.
According to the ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley, the Knicks “remain unlikely to reincorporate” Noah into their 2018-19 season under new head coach David Fizdale. Consequently, the organization “will use the NBA’s waive-and-stretch provision to release Noah sometime after September 1”.
Noah’s woes began after clashing with former head coach Jeff Hornacek due to frustrations stemming from his lack of playing time. The previous day before the clash with Hornacek, Noah played a total five minutes against the Golden State Warriors.
“The disagreement stemmed from Noah’s lack of playing time, and it turned physical the day after he logged only five minutes against the Warriors,” Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported.
“Noah and the Knicks separated in February following a heated argument between Noah and ex-coach Jeff Hornacek. The relationship spiraled after Noah and Hornacek had to be separated during a West Coast practice session in late January. Noah became vociferous towards Hornacek in the aftermath of a brief appearance in a Jan. 23 game and engaged the coach verbally in practice the next day,” Wojnarowski and Begley noted.
The consequence of his altercation with Hornacek led to the Knicks sending Noah away after appearing in only seven games the entire 2017-18 season.
Noah, who was signed to a four-year, $72 million deal in 2016 by former Knicks’ president Phil Jackson, has two years and $37.8 million left on his contract, but finding interest for the two-time All-Star and 2014 Defensive Player of the Year has proven to be difficult.
In exploring the waive-and-stretch option, the Knicks will have Noah’s $18.5 million for the 2018-19 season on their books with the remaining $19.3 million of his fourth year paid in three installments through 2022.